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Dec 03

Win A Day/Slotsland Casino – Roulette issues

Posted by THEPOGG in Blog.

If you’ve played any Roulette game at Win a Day or Slotsland casinos using only one wheel and have not been contacted by the casino, please contact us at support@thepogg.com to make arrangements for a refund. This only affects players using only one of the 5 available wheels.

Recently we were approached by a player who claimed to have played LA Roulette at WinADay casino, betting straight up on one number for 500 spins without a single win. What they wanted to know was whether that could happen in a fair game. The problem with the typical claim of cheating or rigged software is that it normally comes from someone who has lost what to them would be a noticeable amount of money, over what would be considered a statistically small sample size creating a situation wherein you have an emotionally charged player, who generally doesn’t have a strong grasp of the mathematics of gambling and who often will not have kept accurate records of the session the erroneous result occurred in, allowing large room for error or distorted memory to exaggerate what really happened. These reports are normally difficult if not impossible to test without hugely expensive and time consuming information gathering investments and ultimately would likely result in the players loss being shown as nothing more than bad luck.

This situation provided us with something a little different. Firstly the player in question has been known to the site for some time and is knowledgeable with regard to the field of gambling. Secondly, the loss in question was actually relatively insignificant with regard to the players overall wealth as it had been played at a very small stake, which removes any heightened emotional reaction. Finally and most significantly, the player was not claiming that they were losing more than they should, as most do, but rather than they had not won a single bet in 500 spins of the wheel. Given a single 0 roulette wheel the player betting on a single number should win one out of every 37 spins – or a bit over 13 times in 500 spins. Now of course you’re not going to win exactly the right amount of times every time you complete 500 spins – that would be predictable and not really gambling. Instead you’re likely to lose or win a little more often than 13, sometimes substantially more or less – but in the long run it’ll average out to just over 13 wins.

Zero wins out of 500 spins is a notable deviation from the average and certainly one worth further investigation. The first thing to do is calculate what the probability of receiving this result is, so the probability of placing a bet on a single number and not winning on a single zero roulette wheel is 36/37. For 500 spins the calculation we need to do looks like this;

(36/37)^500 = 0.000001123 or to put it another way 1 in 890454.

That shows that this result is not entirely impossible, but very unlikely and as such there is still reason to be concerned.

At this point we also have to acknowledge another issue – other than the players claim, there’s nothing substantive to back any of this up. It’s all fine and well saying that we respect the player and trust their assertion, but making any claims regard bias software is a very serious accusation and without rock solid supporting evidence this could easily end the site in legally very hot water.

What we needed now was supporting evidence, so we agreed to have one of our reviews test the game for us and record their playing session and the first video below is a recording of this test. For the purposes of this study where possible we recorded the tests in a few sessions as possible. It would be very easy to show a video of negative results by simply only recording the losing spins, so showing a continuous feed is essential to the integrity of the test.

LA Roulette is slightly different to other roulette games in that allows the player to bet on 5 roulette wheels in one spin. These wheels should be entirely independent of each other and as such to speed up the testing process we decided to play all 5 wheels at once. Over the course of 359 games, the equivalent of 1795 individual spins on a standard roulette wheel, our number hit a total of 48 times. The expected number of wins we should have experienced over than number of spins was 48.51, so our results were entirely normal.

We took this result back to the player and explained that the results we’d received simply didn’t verify the strongly bias results that they’d experienced and that likely they either had experienced a very unlikely event, or they’d made an error in recording the session results. Unsatisfied with this, the player decided to repeat their initial trial except this time they would also record the session and agreed that if anything interesting was to come up they would share the recording.

Well the recording came back and interesting it certainly was. We’ve included it below so that everyone can see exactly what happened.

A few notes about the video before we continue – there are three occasions during the video where the internet connection failed which you’ll be able to see by the on screen prompt from the casino. At these points I have edited a small section of the video out to prevent private information regarding the player from being distributed (Username and IP address primarily). These edits happen at 19min 47s 09, 1h 20min 43s 06 and 2h 21min 40s 26. So we have 4 continuous sets within the video of 92 spins, 115 spins, 149 spin and 200 spins. The shortest of these – 92 spins – has only an 8% chance of having 0 wins dropping to only a 0.4% chance of 200 losses. While it would have been preferable to see this as one long session, the rare nature of each of these sets would make it unrealistically hard work to fake four such sets to doctor the evidence. The last of these – 200 loses – would only occur on average once every 239 times you played 200 spins. That’s a lot of work to generate. Alongside this, having seen the full video and including the points where reconnection to the casino occurs, I can personally attest that these results were in fact one continuous set. I will be holding on to a copy of this video in case challenge (unlikely as that is given the casinos reaction).

Secondly as the player used the autoplay feature which has a maximum of 100 spins and did not sit with the computer, there are several points of delay where no spins occur. These have been left in to ensure you can see as large continuous sets of spins as possible. These pauses happen between 40min 45s 15 and 41min 47s 18, 1h 2min 30s 09 and 1h 16min 52s 03, 1h 41min 42s 15 and 2h 10min 57s 05 and 2h 42min 33s 16 and 3h 1min 9s 08.

Finally the first 20 min of video (approximately) was corrupted and showed no picture. As the autoplay feature was used in 100 spin batches I estimate that 44 spins were lost at the start of the recording. These spins have not been included in the final results.

Now looking at the results we had 656 losses out of 656 spin. Firstly, what’s the probability of this?

(36/37)^656 = 0.000000015 or 1 in 63 957 353

As things go, that figure is extremely damning, but when we then take into account that given the second set of data has been verified via video evidence, the first set is also likely to have been accurate, we can then measure the cumulative probability;

(36/37)^1156 = 0.00000000000001755892265 or 1 in 56 951 102 310 000

By the point where we’re talking about an event that is trillions to one against happening it’s now far far past safe to say that this simply did not happen naturally. So what’s going on? Why do our test results give us a normal distribution when the player’s test results are so clearly non-random? Well there are two possible explanations – assuming that you accept that the video evidence presented has not been tampered with and verifies the initial claim of 500 spins without a win; 1) the player only used one wheel where our reviewer used all five – perhaps the issue only occurs on a the single wheel or 2) this issue is account specific.

Having seen the result we decided to have our review retest the game using a single wheel instead of all five. You can see this test in Video 3 below. We agreed that we would play to either the first occurrence of our bet number or 800 spins. If the number turned up, we’d know straight away that we were not experiencing the same difficulty as the player, if not we’d have a sample size that would incontrovertibly prove that the software was not fair. As Video 3 shows, our number never came up. The probability of this occurring is;

(36/37)^800 = 0.0000000003024275563 or 1 in 3 306 576 994

So now we’ve established that the single wheel game is not fair, and that it seems likely that a player cannot win when betting on a single number while playing only a single wheel. The next question to ask is whether this affects more than the single wheel. We know from our previous testing that 5 wheels was producing normal results. We need to test 2, 3 and 4 wheels. In each of these test we decided to end the test as soon as we hit a single win. If wins occurred quickly it seemed likely that only playing 1 wheel was affected by this issue. In each case – as you can see in the 3 videos below – our number came up within 4 spins. This doesn’t prove these games are fair, but given the complete lack of wins in what is now a rather large sample testing the single wheel, it certainly would indicate that multiple wheels do not suffer from the same issue.

The next thing we did was contact the casino. The nature of this issue is certainly suggestive that this isn’t intentional – offering a game with a 100% house advantage is very very obvious and would be far less effective at getting extra money than just altering the frequency of payouts slightly and having players play for longer. As this is the case, the casino should be given the opportunity to set things right.

We sent the following email to Win A Day support;

“Hello,

I’m contacting you today as a representative of ThePOGG.com. We were recently alerted by a player to a potential error in you LA Roulette game and have subsequently conducted our own testing of the game and confirmed a very serious casino favouring issue.

During our investigation, when playing only a single wheel out of the five and betting on only a single number we recorded one continuous session where we experienced 800 spins without a single win. In case you’re not familiar with the basics of probability this result has a probability of occurrence of;

(36/37)^800 = 0.0000000003024275563 or 1 in 3 306 576 994

However this was only one of the recorded sessions and the combined probability takes us to 1 in 211 479 913 600 000 000 (211 quadrillion). These figures conclusively show that the results received are a mathematical impossibility on a fair wheel.

At this stage we are contacting you to alert you to the fact that we will be publishing an article detailing our findings in the coming days, including the video recordings of the information gathering sessions alongside the mathematical conclusions that can be drawn from the results. At this stage the response that Win A Day and Slotsland casinos give will greatly affect the conclusion of the article. Obviously a prompt response that takes responsibility for this issue would allow us to be far more sympathetic in our write up.

What needs to happen now is for a member of your management team to get back to us ASAP. We can allow some time for your own testing to verify these results for yourselves, but with results of this nature that can only take so long. This is a very serious issue wherein a game you’re offering is not simply returning deviant results but is operating on a 100% House Advantage, essentially meaning that any player betting on this game is just handing you their wager.

You can reach me at XXXXXX, where I’ll be more than happy to guide you through the optimum way to deal with this issue to ensure that Win A Day and Slotsland are reflected as positively as possible.

I appreciate that this is not the most positive situation to open lines of communication, but value any efforts you make to help us resolve this issue and ensure that your players are treated fairly.

Regards”

Within 24 hours of emailing Win A Day Casino this is the response we received;

“Dear ThePOGG,

This is XXXXX, Supervisor of Customer Support at Win A Day Casino. First of all I would like to assure you that we regard this issue with utmost importance and we will do our best to resolve it not only to the satisfaction of affected players, but also to the general satisfaction of the online gambling community. We have taken our Roulette (both LaRoulette and Roulette5) games offline with immediate effect and we will not put them online until this matter has been fully resolved.

I can confirm that we identified the pattern you laid out, not only on the LaRoulette game but on the Roulette5 game too. We are going to run a series of tests to find the exact problem and then we will make corrections and verification audits. According to our findings, only single-wheel play was affected, therefore we will be contacting all players who played Roulette5 and LaRoulette games on a single reel recently and we will offer them compensation for this unfortunate misbehavior of the game.

Fortunately, the majority of our players play our roulette games with more than one roulette wheel (almost all play with the full number of wheels). We also do regular checks of each game payback and never found any irregularities that would lead us to believe there was such a problem with our Roulette. These facts also probably explain why this error wasn’t detected sooner as this incorrect behavior is absolutely flagrant.

Thank you for contacting us and for your fair approach to this situation. We will appreciate any further input from you regarding this issue, as well as any advice or recommendations you may have. It is our goal to provide fair gaming and we always strive to ensure our players are treated fairly.

Please, let me know, if I can be of further assistance.”

This response was music to our ears! A casino that immediately takes the correct action, both removing the affected game and volunteering to contact all affected players for a refund is the model of what all casino should be and this would be the perfect outcome to our mind.

Unfortunately that’s where the good new ended. When players received emails about the refunds they were due, it turned out that the casino had decided to credit the refunds in the form of bonuses with a 1xbonus wagering requirement.

It should be noted that the bonuses issued were larger than the funds lost but this does not fix the problem and we’ll explain why now.

To begin with if you get caught lifting a fiver out of someone else’s wallet the correct reaction is not to say “fair doos, flip a coin and if you win you can have it back” – any child could tell you that. It simple right and wrong – they wrongly took player’s money, they do not then have the right to dictate the terms under which it is returned. If they’d wanted to offer a bonus alternative they should have made the refund of losses and offered the player the alternative to take a larger bonus.

Alongside this the casino claimed that the amount credited was significantly higher than the amount lost and had the lowest possible wagering requirement the casino could offer. So let’s explore these claims.

Firstly the low wagering requirement – as WinADay casino weight their games when calculating wagering requirements and it was roulette that the money was lost on – weighted at 1% in their terms and conditions with any wager under $1 discounted – this is equivalent to a 100xbonus wagering requirement. The bonus would in fact only be 1xbonus if the player played slots games and as the money was initially lost playing roulette games it seems far from unreasonable to assume that player would choose that game again. If the player chooses a single wheel roulette game with a single zero the house edge is 2.7%. So if you’d lost money playing this non-random roulette game and received a bonus of $100 as compensation you would have to wager $10000 on roulette to complete the wagering requirement ($100×100) and would expect to lose $10000×0.027 = $270 – more than the bonus credited!!

The second claim – that the bonus was significantly higher than the amount lost – now needs to be looked at. In the case of our reviewer the loss was $78.60 and the bonus credited was $100, hardly a whopping increase but whether you consider that substantial or not is very much opinion.

Of course the player does not have to play roulette – they could choose to play slots games and only face a 1xbonus restriction – but given it was a roulette game where the losses were incurred, a bonus that would have a negative expectation when played on roulette certainly does not compensate for the loss of funds on a roulette game that was not functioning in a fair fashion. Alongside this, slots games offer a very high variance and are a high house edge option for the player. We can’t specifically state in this instance what the house edge of WinADay/Slotsland’s slots games are as they do not release that information, but going by the ranges we’ve seen at other casinos this could be anything up to 12% or more – suddenly that “significantly” higher bonus credit does not look so significant and given the high variances (big swings) nature of slots games, even over a small wagering requirement there is a very real chance of ending up lower than the amount that should have been returned.

We highlighted all of the above to the casinos involved over email and their only response has been to tell us that “in case we receive one single complaint from any of the affected players, I will make proper steps to ensure that he leaves satisfied (refund as you suggested would definitely be the first alternative option for him). Our players are very communicative and have no problem to share their opinion with us. I haven’t received any negative feedback so far (except from You)”. This ‘offer the customer the worst deal first and fix it if someone complains’ solution is far from the response we’d hoped for and we certainly cannot condone using bonuses as an alternative to refunding money to affected players. In short we feel that WinADay have not acted in the best of faith in this instance.

Their only saving grace in this instance is that during the one player complaint that we have received about this issue WinADay management were forthcoming and cooperative throughout and ultimately once play histories were provided the player’s play did not show the same concerning indicators found in the set above.

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