Gaming machines

What is casino gaming?

Gaming machines may contain a number of deferment-type of games, all of which have to be approved by the Commission. These gaming machines may also be called fruit machines or slot machines. The casino is required to inform customers of the ‘payout ratio’, more often called the ‘return to player’ or RTP.

If you wish to play on a gaming machine, you should be aware of the concept of ‘Return to player’ (RTP). RTP is the term casinos use to describe the percentage of all the wagered money a video gaming machine or slot machine will pay back to players over time. The RTP percentage figure is an indicator of the longer-term return of a particular game, perhaps over as many as a million games, not for each time the gaming machine is played.

It does not mean than every time a player plays they will get that that percentage of the money they played back, that is their losses will be limited. The RTP varies considerably in individual player sessions, and whilst there will be times when some players get more money back that they played with (they win) there will be many more occasion when players lose some or all of their money.

The Commission requires that casinos in the Republic have a minimum RTP of 85% . This means that the casino will keep an average of 15% of all money played over time.

The ‘hit frequency’ is the term casinos use to describe how often a gaming machine will stop on a winning combination. For example, if a machine has a hit frequency of 7%, it means that the machine will stop on a winning combination about 7% of the time. Among gaming machines there can be great variation in the hit frequency. Some machines have a hit frequency as low as 3%, while other games have much higher levels and although that might appear attractive, you need to remember that in a proportion of those ‘hits’ you will just win back your original bet. The ‘hit frequency’ does not indicate the level of winnings and whilst a machine with a low hit frequency may not sound attractive, it may offer larger payouts when there is a win.