Secret casino servers revealed
Reading time: 9 min, 1748 words
Rating: 8
Rating: 6.3

Secret casino servers revealed

Categories: offline casinos, slots 6 Apr 2023 75 0

The focus of today's discussion is central servers inside of casinos. What are they doing there, and what is the truth about their function?

First, let's start with the definition of a central server. It is similar to what you would find in an office building or a medium to a large-sized business. The central server is a machine that networks all the other machines inside the building, including printers, computers, Wi-Fi, and more. In a casino, central servers network all the machines, including slot machines, ATM machines, tablets on table games, cameras, and lighting.

However, I must emphasize that just because the technology exists does not mean it is in use or allowed to be used. For example, just because a robot can perform open-heart surgery does not mean it's a better choice compared to a veteran surgeon with a 99% success rate. Similarly, the existence of central servers does not automatically mean they are used to manipulate slot machines.

What central servers cannot do

Let's dive into what central servers cannot do and ways they are prevented from doing so. I'll also provide some show and tell examples, so you can see what is happening.

Okay, so the first thing you need to fully understand about slot machines is that they have to be standalone units. There cannot be any outside influence on the operation of that slot machine, meaning the logic portion is completely jailed off. This means that the logic on how the machine decides the spins, the random number generators, and all that kind of stuff cannot be influenced by anything outside - servers, people, magnets, you name it. None of that stuff can be happening inside of a regular slot machine. It's just not possible, and manufacturers are bound by laws, rules, and regulations to make sure that their machines are built in a way that cannot happen.

Now, the first thing to note is that servers can actually interface with machines, and we're going to talk about what they actually can do. But first, let's get some things out of the way that they can't do. One of those is they cannot automatically push changes down to the machine and have them be automatically accepted. So even though they can download and say, "Look, we want to change the BET level on this machine," even though they can do that, it sits in a queue. It cannot be automatically applied on the machine itself. It sits in a queue, saying, "There is a pending configuration change on this machine."

So, what happens next? Well, what I've done is I've taken the logic portion out of this machine here. This is an S3000 from IGT, a very recent machine that started coming out about four or five years ago. They're very prevalent inside a casino, so this is very modern. What I'm about to show you is exactly what you would find inside of a casino.

Let's say that the central server did push a request for a change on here. Again, it is not automatically applied.

S3000 from IGT logic unit
S3000 from IGT logic unit

This is the brain box. This is the logic unit for this machine. It's basically a modified computer, but "modified" is the big keyword here. You're looking at this right here. In order for a configuration change to ever be allowed on this machine, whether it was remotely pushed down or somebody wants to do it physically at the machine, there is a special USB key that must be entered. There is a metal flap there. That's because it's not revealed. There is a lock right here. I have removed the lock because it's in a home environment, but there would be a lock right here. The gaming commission owns the keys to this lock, not the casino. So, the gaming commission would have to come out and unlock this. By unlocking this, they can push this lever up, and now it reveals the special slot that an elevated USB key goes into.

Now, there are other USB ports on here, but none of these are connected like this one is. This is a very special port. So, this is what the manufacturer builds in protection like this. If this is unlocked, they can put an elevated key in here, and they can either make the changes themselves, or they can accept the change that was pushed from a central server. But again, it must be physically accessed. A key has to be inside of here in order to accept that change.

Technicians don't have the key, so they may need to check it out with management. However, the gaming commission needs to be present for any changes to take place, from start to finish. I want to draw your attention to the tamper-proof tape on the machine. The tape goes over the USB port, so the gaming commission can seal the machine, ensuring that no one has tampered with it since the last seal.

While central servers can automate things and make them more efficient, they still need to physically access every machine and accept any changes. The gaming commission must be present to witness the change and reseal the machine afterwards. This is an essential point to understand.

What central servers can do

Moving on, let's discuss what the central servers can do. They are mainly in place for automation of viewing data, including statistical data. They can view real-time stats of coin-in and coin-out on the machines. This helps them look for performance data, such as which machines are not performing well and may need to be replaced or moved. Alternatively, if a machine is over-performing, they may need to order more of those machines because people are playing them. They constantly monitor this information to determine which machines to drop and which machines to add.

Central servers can automate the process of viewing data, which helps casinos make informed decisions on which machines to replace, move, or add.

They can give casino managers a view of the casino floor to see which machines are being played at any given time. This information is just for them to see where the activity is, and this is how slot managers design the casino floor. They can see who is playing if the player has their players card in the machine. This is how they can pay out comps, and how the casino host will notice you. They can see what you're playing, your bet size, and how much you've won and lost. This information helps generate more comps because it's all automated, and there's analysis being done automatically to spit out what your next free play amount is going to be.

Central servers can also look at coin in and coin out. In the past, this process was done manually by going down to each machine with a clipboard, which was a very arduous process. With a central server, they can get all that information aggregated in the back for them to make decisions. They can run reports and see analysis over short periods of time or long periods of time.

Central servers can also figure out which machines have tilts or errors, such as games that need to be rebooted or reels that are spinning. This is for the slot technicians, who usually have little tablets or PDAs or cell phones that actually tell them where the tilts are. The central server is keeping track of where all the tilts are so they can go and repair the machine. Slot attendants have this information whenever hand pays are hit.

It's a common misconception that casinos are watching you or deciding when slot machines can pay out and not pay out. This cannot be further from the truth. Slot machines cannot have any outside influence, and they must stay random. They must not be in a casino that is a Class 3 licensed. Casinos are happy with the 5 to 15 percent household that they get on every slot machine. They put a machine in service, set the payback percentage, and watch over a certain period of time. They know they're going to get a certain amount of money from that machine, and they're happy with that because it requires very little maintenance.

There are still rules and regulations in place, and the gaming commission is a large part of that. The reason it's gotten easier is that it doesn't need to be a time sink to change the payback percentage. There's no need to swap out chips and stuff like that anymore like they used to. Nowadays, there are USB sticks and all these new technologies.

See more: Slot technician busts common slot machines myths, Best slot machines in Vegas


Q: Can casinos control when a slot machine pays out?

A: No, casinos cannot control when a slot machine pays out. Slot machines must stay random and any outside influence would violate the rules and regulations set by gaming commissions.

Q: Can casinos see what I'm playing and how much I'm betting?

A: Yes, casinos can see what you're playing and how much you're betting, but this information is used to generate comps and rewards for players. Casinos use this data to analyze player activity and create reports to improve their overall operations.

Q: How do modern slot machines work?

A: Modern slot machines use a computer program called a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of each spin. The RNG generates a random sequence of numbers that correspond to the symbols on the reels, ensuring that each spin is independent and random.

Q: How do I increase my chances of winning at slots?

A: There is no guaranteed way to win at slots, as they are games of chance. However, playing at a higher denomination and betting the maximum can increase your chances of hitting a big jackpot.

Q: Can casinos adjust the payback percentage of a slot machine?

A: Yes, casinos can adjust the payback percentage of a slot machine within a certain range, but this is regulated by gaming commissions. Casinos must adhere to strict rules and regulations to maintain their gaming license.

Q: What are the benefits of using a player's card?

A: Using a player's card can earn you comps and rewards based on your play. Casinos use this information to track your activity and generate rewards such as free play, meals, and hotel rooms. It's a great way to get more value out of your casino experience.

Rating: 7.6
Spin Rio
Rating: 7.5


There are no comments yet.