First slot machines inspected and installed in Massachusetts
As Plainridge Park Casino nears official grand opening, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (MGC) prepares for the installation and inspection of the state’s first Electronic Gaming Devices (EGD) or - slot machines.
MGC’s Investigations and Enforcement Bureau (IEB) and the Information Technology Division (ITD) will work together to supervise the installation and ongoing inspection of all gaming software, electronic slot monitoring systems and licensee records to ensure the integrity of the games, compliance with regulations and overall adherence to Massachusetts strict gaming standards.
“As Plainridge Park Casino gets ready to open to the public, the Massachusetts Gaming Commission is focused on ensuring that our policies and procedures protect the integrity of the gaming industry and safeguards fair play for patrons,” said MGC chairman Steve Crosby. “I commend the ongoing dedication of MGC’s IEB and ITD staff for their commitment to the highest standards of regulatory compliance.”
It is anticipated that Plainridge Park Casino will generate approximately $200 million of Gross Gaming Revenues in the first full year of operations, which would translate to approximately $98 million in revenues to the Commonwealth. Slot machine payouts are controlled by software and mandated by Commission regulation to have a minimum theoretical payout of 80 percent over the cycle of the game.
MGC staff will focus on the following areas to verify game integrity and compliance:
• SHIPPING: Every slot machine that is shipped or transported to Massachusetts must provide MGC with a notification that includes information about each slot machine and its software. The MGC is required to maintain an inventory to keep track of every approved slot machine in the Commonwealth.
• TESTING: Every slot machine must be tested and approved by a Commission certified independent testing laboratory prior to its use on the gaming floor. MGC has certified two independent gaming labs, GLI and BMM Testlabs, to test all gaming software and electronic slot monitoring systems. These independent labs will test the games to confirm that slot machines are operating properly and in compliance. In addition, MGC staff is currently receiving highly specialized training on slot machine testing procedures and equipment.
• MONITORING: MGC will soon utilize a central control computer system that will monitor all slots gaming. MGC will require every slot machine to be connected to MGC’s Central Monitoring System. This state-of-the-art monitoring system will provide MGC with immediate access to each slot machine to ensure the integrity of the machine and to ensure proper collection of state taxes.
• REVENUE: Before the gaming revenue is counted at the gaming establishment, MGC, through its Central Monitoring System, is able to quickly assess anticipated dollar amounts and number of vouchers. When connected with the casino’s own slot monitoring system (SMS), a triple audit is performed on every slot machine when it is counted. The triple count will ensure the integrity of the EGD and the amount of revenue generated.
• AUDITS: MGC staff will routinely review and audit all jackpots paid out to confirm that the amount of money returned to players is consistent with approved programs and the amount of play the machines have received.
• SURVEILLANCE: Each gaming establishment is required to install state-of-the-art surveillance and security systems. Surveillance will be performed 24/7 by casino and MGC staff. This sophisticated surveillance system is a critical tool for ensuring compliance and also assists greatly with overall public safety and security considerations.