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Thread: "Social Gaming" by Caesars and MGM using dirty tricks to mislead novice gamblers

  1. #1
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    "Social Gaming" by Caesars and MGM using dirty tricks to mislead novice gamblers

    By now you've likely seen the various "social games" being pushed by both Caesars and MGM.

    On the surface, these seem harmless. You aren't wagering real money, and they're just time-wasters for people who want to play casino games for free without expending the time and money to go to a real casino for them.

    Of course, I'm not naive when it comes to the motivations of casinos. Nothing is really "free" involving casinos. Everything is a carefully designed marketing ploy to get you to gamble more.

    Still, I figured the purpose of these free games was to introduce novice gamblers to slot machines and video poker, thereby making them more interesting/enticing to play for real money next time the player goes to Vegas. So if you've been playing free video poker every day for 6 months and enjoying it, it's hard not to throw some money into an actual video poker machine next time you visit a casino.

    But it gets much more sinister than that.

    Apparently these "social games" are giving the player the edge to win. That is, these games are positive expectation, and you will typically win over time when you play. Of course, this is the exact opposite of real casino games, where the odds are against you, and you will lose over time.

    These free games provide the customer with a falsely positive winning experience, and they don't bother to inform anyone that they will be playing at much inferior (and negative) odds when graduating to the real thing.

    But it doesn't even stop there!

    These games also feature what's known as Dynamic Game Balancing, or "DGB". Also known as "rubber-band AI" in the video gaming world, this feature artificially adjusts the results of the game based upon how the player is doing. For example, if a player is terrible at video poker, he will lose, even if playing a machine with a positive expectation with good play. The DGB feature will artificially force the player to win, no matter how poorly he is playing. On the flip side, if the player is doing too well, the DGB will artificially make the player LOSE, thus bringing his winning down to a more reasonable level.

    But wait! Why would a casino rig their free games to make successful players lose? Isn't that counterproductive, if they're trying to get players excited about being able to win at slots or video poker?

    Actually, no.

    There was a short clip on the show "Futurama" where a compulsive gambler died, and found himself at a slot machine. He pulled the lever, and won a jackpot. "A casino where I win! Wow, I must be in heaven!", he exclaimed. Then he pulled the level again. He won another jackpot. "A casino where I win every time?! That's boring! I must be in HELL!"

    It was funny because it's true. Believe it or not, the fact that you sometimes (or usually) lose is what makes winning in gambling so addictive and exciting. If you were always effortlessly winning, it would get boring quickly. Of course, winning real money games effortlessly and easily could still be addictive because it would generate real money which you could use to purchase luxuries in life, but if you take the monetary factor away, a game can only be fun if you're facing some adversity along the way to winning.

    The DGB has another problem, which should actually be illegal. Caesars and MGM make a small fortune from people who buy play chips rather than slowly win them. The "buy chips" option is appealing to those who want to spend a nominal amount of money ($20 or so) to start with a lot more chips, and not have to go through the waiting period to "rebuy" for free if they go broke. It also allows them to start immediately at higher limits, and earn the badges, avatars, and whatever other online trophies they're shooting for. Unfortunately, since the DGB feature actually forces players to lose when they are doing too well, this reduces the value of these bought play chips, as does the fact that a losing player will be often "saved" by the system if he's not doing well. If the system is going to try hard to prevent you from busting, and if it's never going to let you win too much, too quickly, what's the point of buying play chips?

    Whole thing smells incredibly dirty to me.

    Here's a good article on the matter by law professor I. Nelson Rose: http://www.gaminglawmasters.com/site...asinogames.pdf

  2. #2
    Diamond Hockey Guy's Avatar
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    I play "MyVegas"(MGM) & "Slots of Fun"(CET) on my wife's facebook & I always lose at an almost unbelievable rate so I must be the unluckiest gambler around.

    Here's a thread I started about it:

    http://pokerfraudalert.com/forum/sho...hlight=myvegas

    BTW with my help she's now on level 671 & we have 760K+ LP's for our next Vegas excursion.
    (_) ..
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hockey Guy
    I'd say good luck in the freeroll but I'm pretty sure you'll go on a bender to self-sabotage yourself & miss it completely or use it as the excuse of why you didn't cash.

  3. #3
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    I should probably put an asterisk here that I'm going on info from the I. Nelson Rose article.

    If Rose is incorrect, then I have egg on my face here. He's a respected gaming attorney, and I had assumed he wouldn't write such an article if it wasn't verified to be true.

    Here is the key paragraph from the Rose article:

    Social casino games may be inherently misleading. Because the games are not regulated, they are free to set the odds at any level they want. In fact, they are almost never truly random. Game manufacturers don't want players to get bored, so they make the game easier if a player is stuck at one level, or harder if the player is winning too handily. This Dynamic Game Balancing ("DGB") is done automatically, because game designers want players to be hooked. Obviously, with real gambling, operators can't change the odds mid-game. And casinos do not brag about a game being "addictive."

  4. #4
    Platinum thesparten's Avatar
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    I've played quite a few slots for play money on my laptop that are connected to casino.s.

    I actually enjoy slots but the real ones have just become way too expensive.
    They used to be the best entertainment value for your money. Obviously that is no longer the case.

    15 years ago you could play 300$ in slots and enjoy the majority of the afternoon. You would eventually lose but got entertainment value.

    The last couple of times I played real slots, 500$ bucks in about an hour and saw no jackpots hit for the majority of the day with a packed house..FUCK THAT!!!

    The video slots that I play for Yonkers race way among others. Really are rigged for the player..

    You will hit a jackpot in the first hour every time you first join..

    Druff is correct!
    I disagree with it being sinister. Is it shrewed yes!
    Whatever gets more people into the community that are using this entertainment value in a positive way..

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