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Other considerations for live return to player performance monitoring of games of chance

As remote gambling will record transactions in databases, and often at a very granular level, it easily facilitates more sophisticated measurements. The granularity of recorded gaming transactions and performance measurements should be commensurate with the game’s design and complexity, it should enable accurate performance monitoring. Below are more detailed examples, these could be performed as part of the normal monitoring processes, on an ad-hoc basis, or when investigating an apparent discrepancy.

Measuring each stake level

A game that allows players to alter the stake per spin will result in turnover and win figures with mixed stake and wins from all bet levels. This will mean that activity played at max bet levels might drown out activity played at minimum bet levels. After a high number of games the influence of this will reduce, however measuring a game independently for each main bet level can give more accurate results. It can also detect if there is a problem that only exists with certain stake levels (eg a designed multiplier might not be working properly). Consideration should be given to monitoring games at a stake level where possible, particularly when investigating possible game faults.

Measuring per channel

Remote games are often released separately on different platforms or channels (eg mobile, flash, download). Depending on the game’s design and architecture it could mean a game faults might only exist in one channel, this will be harder to detect if activity from all channels is aggregated into one measurement. We have seen instances where although the mobile version of a game was based on a previous flash version errors made in the adaption process have resulted in errors that only existed in the mobile version. Where there is the potential for fairness to be affected as a result of differences between channels then measurements should be made at both an aggregated level and per channel level.

Segregating base game activity from bonus features or progressive jackpots

Where games are designed with complex bonus features the ability to monitor the game at both a base game and feature game level should be included. This will be particularly important where the feature has a large effect on the overall game’s RTP and is certainly important where a game implements a skill component in the feature (as the skill RTP component will vary greatly depending on players’ actions). For example, some games will offer a 50/50 (double or quits) gamble feature; monitoring the overall game RTP including gambles will not necessarily confirm that the gamble is operating as a true and fair 50/50. Similarly for games connected to progressive jackpots, the base game should be measured independently of the progressive component.

Virtual sports products

In a similar way to skill games virtual sports returns will mostly depend on the player choices and so there won’t be a single theoretical RTP. In its place operators could monitor the hit rate and distribution of each possible event outcome against the designed probability. For example if there are seven virtual horses in a racing event ensure each horse is winning the expected number of races according to their designed probability, as reflected by the offered odds (with over round). A similar approach might apply to roulette and blackjack.

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