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Tuesday
Apr182006

Blow Up the Pokies

180px-poker_machine_queen_of_the_nile.jpg.jpgThe famous mathematician and member of The Manhattan Project, John von Neumann once famously said "Anyone who uses software to produce random numbers is in a state of sin".

(Incidentally, von Neumann was the one who discovered that bombs of large dimension are more devastating if they detonate before touching the soil because of the additional force caused by waves of detonation. The most famous application of this discovery occurred on the 6th and 9th of August 1945, when two nuclear weapons were detonated above the soils of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, at the precise altitude calculated by von Neumann himself in order that they would produce the most extensive damage possible.)

Well now here's a funny thing. The New South Wales Government, the Clubs and the Industry have always assured us that the Bandits work on Random Number Generation and that they can't be tweaked or manipulated. A level playing field as it were. Oh yeah? Then what about this story in today's Sydney Morning Herald?

"TO THE punters in the poker machine lounges frequented by Anatoli Michkoroudny, his run of good luck was astounding.

But, as the Supreme Court has recounted, Michkoroudny had inside knowledge that explained why the machines paid out close to $48,000. He was employed as a software tester by Ainsworth Game Technology, and had access to confidential information that allowed him to receive payouts that eluded everyday punters.

Last week, Ainsworth successfully sued Michkoroudny for $61,000, which was the amount plus interest it had to pay to clubs that lost money during their former employee's gambling foray in 2003. A lawyer for Ainsworth confirmed that the court granted an injunction restraining Michkoroudny from disclosing the company's confidential information."

Ainsworth obtained an injunction restraining whatshisface from disclosing confidential information - I bet they did. Imagine what that information would be worth?

Could it be the poker-machine-playing public are being duped? In my experience a machine can run "Hot" - you can't tell me it's Random Number Generation when you can take $2800, then $500, then $300 in the space of a few minutes after the machine has been stopped and re-set by a club employee - which is what happened to me. And I've done that a few times.

There should be an inquiry into this. But of course there won't be. Too much money involved. There's something rotten in the State of Denmark, I reckon.

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Reader Comments (6)

Mal, Pokies sicken me. If I had my way they'd be banned from pubs and clubs across the state today. The negative impact of them is immeasureable.

Apart from the fact that they encourage pubs to remove live entertainment areas so that they have more room for pokies and encourage clubs to extend their trading hours to make money around the clock, they DESTROY LIVES.

I've worked on the peripheral of the industry and have attended national and international expos on gaming and gaming products. Next time the Australian Gaming Expo is on in Sydney, go down and pay your entrance fee and see what a rort it truly is. The machines are designed specifically to pull money out of your pocket. They equip the machines with software and features to attract a specific market. They have "Psychological Layouts" for clubs that show you, if you place this machine made for women in the sightlines of the women exiting the bathroom you'll increase your revenue by 4%. If you place this one targeted at nostalgic older members of the public at the exit of the bostro, you'll increase your revenue by 7%. If you re-arrange your machines in this pattern, blocking straightline access from the bar to the toilet, revenue will increase by 12%. It's a joke and they should be outlawed staight away. I'm sick of the things. I have a close family member addicted. Completely. It's very sad.

The scarier thing is that Star City's exclusivity agreement with the NSW govt runs out in 2008. Get ready to see a raft of new Casinos across the state.
April 19, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterUncle B
Hi, i am from Indonesia, i was playing this machine in sydney, i lose my money, further, girlfriend, then my job....
So sad, may everyone know, how i start it? I just put AUS $50 at pokies machine in strawberry hills bar, so won close to AUS $200, after that (only in 9 moonth) i lose close to $165000
February 1, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkoesinlin
Yes that's how it starts. I never played the things but whacked in $10 on a whim one day and won $200. Few days later I won $3,300. That was the beginning of the end - years of addiction. Lost everything. Ended up in re-hab. The only way I could beat them was to leave Australia. They are really evil things. That the Governments make a LOT of money from.
February 1, 2009 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
Hi Mal...I saw your comment re your addiction...similar story from me. A lot of people are now getting together from a number of countries, using a Facebok group site...Gambling Action group. Could you check it out and hopefully decide to join? Also if you email me I would like to chat as you seem a goahead bloke who could help us all to get the pokies BANNING idea 'more out there'. Cheers Libby Mitchell
October 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLibby Mitchell
They are completely EVIL - propping up shitty governments and making billions for Clubs and Publicans. I still think about wanting to play them - but, luckily, I'm in France and for the most part they only have those boring fruit machines.
October 16, 2011 | Registered CommenterMalcolm Lambe
Read the story, he worked for the manufacturer as a software tester. He had inside knowledge, what is not mentioned in the article is the knowledge was a flaw that allowed exploitation. Instead of fixing the flaw he allowed it to go through. See the judgement of the Supreme Court Appeal for the District Court conviction. "He was charged with gaining an advantage from knowing a machine had faulty computer programming under s 80 of the Gaming Machines Act 2001."

It's plain statistics working against you when you play. 85% return to player means you will always lose guaranteed - full stop.
May 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAnon

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