Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

How much should a gaming machine (also known as a fruit machine or slot machine) pay out in winnings?

Gaming machines (fruit machines, slot machines) offer different prize amounts depending on their category.

All gaming machines are required to clearly display the percentage return-to-player figure (% RTP), or the odds of winning a prize, from use of the machine.

It is important to realise however, that the % RTP is an average achieved over a significant number of game plays* and not each time the gaming machine is played. For example, if a gaming machine displays an 85% RTP, you should not expect to win an average of 85 pence for every £1 you stake during a playing session.

*Average % RTP is generally measured over 10,000 or 100,000 games or greater for compensated (1) and random (2) machines respectively, dependent upon their category.

Gaming machine (fruit machine, slot machine) minimum percentage payout

There is no statutory minimum percentage payout for a gaming machine. The technical standards for legacy gaming machines however, do put a lower limit of 70% as a % RTP.

(1) Compensated machines vary the chance of winning a prize as a result of the outcome from previous play. Where such a machine is below its target %RTP it may become more generous dependent upon design and vice versa, though the prize distribution is still determined by chance.

(2) Random machines rely purely on statistical probabilities to achieve their target percentage return to player. The odds of achieving a win remain constant, and are not affected by previous wins or losses.

Gaming machines must make information available about their category; % RTP; and whether they are compensated or random.

Also see:

For further information about %RTP please see: How does the Gambling Commission ensure that the percentage of winnings returned to players by gaming machines is fair?

If you have experienced a problem with a gaming machine (fruit machine, slot machine) you have played, please see: How do I complain about a gambling transaction (disputes)?

Last reviewed: September 2012

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