Reel Weight - iGaming
Relevant Standard(s): 10.15, 10.20
Do the Registrar’s Standards permit multiple sets of reels or different weightings in the base game based on wager if it is disclosed to the player?
Standard 10.20 of the Registrar’s Standards for Gaming (April 2013) does permit changes to the conditions of play or changes to the reel strip weightings provided that the changes in conditions of play are clearly disclosed to the player.
The determination as to whether sufficient disclosure has been made is circumstantial in nature. The intent of the Standard is to ensure that players are not misled and are able to make informed choices, which will guide the AGCO’s determination as to whether or not sufficient disclosure has been made. For example, a player is likely to assume that conditions of play are unchanged if the game’s appearance remains the same to them, regardless of what may be contained in the help screens; therefore such minimal disclosure is not considered to be sufficient.
In order to provide some guidance, an excerpt from the draft Electronic Gaming Equipment Minimum Technical Standards (currently out for consultation) is set out below. The provision (EGM 2.1.9) applies to land-based games and is more prescriptive than Standard 10.20; however, its intent is the same. To be clear, EGM 2.1.9 is not a requirement for iGaming, and has simply been included to illustrate potential methods that may be implemented in order to clearly disclose changes to the player.
2.1.9: Any games which change the conditions of play during game play (e.g. number of decks in card games, reels in a slot game) must alert the player of the change. In the case of a reel game where reel strip weightings are changed due to different wagering options being selected or during free or bonus spins, the gaming equipment must:
- Clearly state in the help screens that different reels are used for the particular game states and/or wagering options;
- Alter the appearance of the reels (i.e. change the appearance of the symbol, change the background color of the reel strip); and
- Display on the game screen that reels have changed, and/or different reels are in play.
Relevant Standard Excerpt(s):
10.15 The probability of achieving any specific game outcome shall be constant and independent of game history, player or any other factor.
Guidance: The intent is to ensure that where the outcome of a game should be truly random (i.e. dice games, slot games), the outcome is not dependent or based upon any game history or other factors. This Standard is not meant to prohibit games which are based on cumulative play i.e. metamorphic games.
10.20 The selected game elements and their associated game outcomes shall not be influenced, affected or controlled by the amount wagered, or by the style or method of play unless the conditions of play are changed and are clearly disclosed to the player.
This interpretation is provided for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. The interpretation relates to a specific set of circumstances and the standards, laws and regulations in force at the time the interpretation was issued; however, it is not an exhaustive or definitive interpretation of the standard(s) referenced herein.
The AGCO has established the Standards Interpretation Protocol, which acts as a single point of contact for inquiries from the gaming industry related to the interpretation of the Standards. For more information, please contact the AGCO’s Customer Service Department at 416 326-8700 (in the GTA) or 1 800 522-2876 (toll free in Ontario).