Many gaming machine players complain to IBAS about the fairness of the machine or game they have played. In most cases, we will refer the customer to the Gambling Commission (see What IBAS Does Not Cover).

We may take the opportunity to point out some of the fundamentals governing gaming machines, including:


The difference between machines powered by Random Number Generators (RNGs) and more traditional Compensator technology

RNG-powered gaming machines generate prizes in a significantly different way to ‘pub-style’ fruit machines some players are more familiar with. In traditional, compensator machines a machine would only take so much stake money before paying out a prize. It became possible to estimate when a machine was due to pay out simply by monitoring the amount of money that had been put in and paid out.

As a result, some people playing RNG-powered Category B2 and B3 slots games continue playing through a bad run in misguided expectation, as much as hope, that a big win must be around the corner.

Gaming machines using RNG technology make a large cash win just as likely in the spin following another big win as it does at any other time. This means that longer winning and losing streaks are possible, even though both types of machines will pay out the same proportion of their total stakes over the course of time.

That the visual display of a modern digital gaming machine is there not to determine the outcome of each game but to display it in an ‘engaging and supposedly entertaining’ manner

At the start of a game on an RNG-powered gaming machine the RNG determines the game’s outcome before the visual display – the reels of a slot game, the wheel of a roulette table or any other – then plays what is essentially an electronic video clip showing the game result.

If the visual display freezes, flickers or disappears, in almost all cases the game servers will record the outcome of the game and award any cash prizes that were due. Some people write to IBAS complaining that the roulette ball was heading towards their chosen number before the wheel stuttered and the ball ended up in a different segment. In reality, what the customer was going to see on the wheel was already determined - for better or worse - the second that the ‘play’ button was pressed.

When we are investigating a gaming machine dispute, we will contact the machine manufacturer through the retailer to obtain the game logs and any other statistics that might be relevant to the dispute.

The Panel will consider as far as possible whether the game complies with the requirements of the Gambling Commission’s Technical Standards.


Total Value of Payments Awarded or Conceded to Customers in 2020.
Total Requests for Adjudication.