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Slot machines

When you sit down to play a slot machine, you are really activating a computer program that guarantees a profit for the casino.

Players as a collective group are guaranteed to be returned a vast majority of the money the machine takes in.

Only a select number of individuals hit a jackpot during a given playing session. Remember, there are thousands of people who play the machine over the course of a year. There is only one casino operator.

What a slot machine possesses in the way of eye appeal is vitally important to both slot machine manufacturers and casino executives.

The colors, the sights, the sounds, the name of the game, the jackpot symbols and how they are depicted play a major role in attracting potential players to sit down and try their luck.

Some time ago slot machines went commercial when International Game Technology/Anchor Gaming introduced Wheel of Fortune, a slot format based on the wildly popular long-running television game show.

The popularity of Wheel of Fortune paved the way for WMS Gaming to enter into a licensing agreement with Hasbro Inc.'s Parker Brothers unit and unveil machines with a Monopoly theme, taking advantage of the board game that has been an American institution since the Great Depression.

The so-called "bonus game revolution" in the slot machine industry rages on. Every player waits for the bonus round trigger to win some “free spins” and hope for a big score.

Even though bonus games give players the illusion they are getting something extra for their slot machine play, it is in reality just that, an illusion.

As much fun as it may be to watch the Wheel of Fortune wheel spin for a "bonus" pay out, as excited and filled with anticipation as a player may be, that player is still paying for it, often times in a way he or she may not realize.

For example, all of the money paid out in bonuses comes from the base game itself. If a machine is programmed to return to players 90 percent of what it takes in, any bonuses are paid out of that amount. There is no "extra" money put aside for bonuses.

It is not uncommon to take a hefty percentage from the base game and program it into the bonus feature aspect. That means the amount of money the machine is programmed to pay for winning combinations outside the bonus feature can suffer.

Yet another means to extract more money from slot players in a faster period of time is multi-line games: Slot machines that give you the option of putting in larger of amounts of coins per spin.

The lure, of course, is for the player to win more money and/or participate in bonus features based on the amount of coins he or she plays. For example, being eligible for the grand jackpot only if max coins are played.

When it comes to playing for bonus rounds on slots, don’t think you're getting something extra with those “free spins” or that you're getting a bonus in addition to what you won. Yes, it’s a “bonus” of sorts but you’re paying for it.

BONUS ROUND-UP

BLUE CHIP: Be sure to activate your entries this month for the “Summer Wheels” giveaway and your chance to win a 2019 Jeep Wrangler Sport 4 X 4 or a 2019 Jeep Cherokee Limited 4 X 4. The first pre-qualifying drawing will take place on Friday (June 7). Hourly drawings from 7 to 10 p.m. will see five winners at each drawing receive $100 in slot dollars plus one pre-qualified entry into the Grand Prize Car drawing on June 22. Additionally, there will be one bonus $5,000 slot dollars winner drawn each Friday following the 10 p.m. drawing. There will also be pre-qualifying drawings on Friday, June 14, and Friday, June 21.

Grand prize drawings will be held hourly from 7 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, June 22, with five winners at each drawing receiving $100 slot dollars plus one pre-qualified entry into the grand prize drawing for the car which will be held immediately following the 10 p.m. drawing. There will also be 10 $500 cash winners selected. Earn entries using your B Connected card playing slots and table games.

FOUR WINDS: The week-long special events and festivities leading up to the 2019 Four Winds Invitational continue. On June 6 there will be a Grapes on the Green” Wine/Food Tasting starting at 5 p.m. Guests drive golf carts along the course and stop for special wine or food tastings at each hole. It ends with a party on the green with live music provided by Shake N’ Chill. The cost is $100 per pair, two people per cart, with all proceeds benefiting Beacon Children’s Hospital. The golf tournament, to be held at Blackthorn Golf Club in South Bend, begins with Round 1 on Friday (June 7) and Round 2 on Saturday (June 8). The final round is set for Sunday (June 9). Admission is free. A special part of the final round of competition on Sunday is the “KidZone” family day from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. Highlights include Wings, Etc., KidZone at the Pavilion with crafts, activities, hot dogs and ice cream, golf games, and other free activities. It is open to the public. Please visit fourwindsinvitational.com for registration and complete information.

MAJESTIC STAR: With summer weather just around the corner don’t miss out on the Beats the Heat promotion every Friday this month at the Gary property. Five winners will be selected every 30 minutes from 7 to 9:30 p.m. to receive their choice of Beats Solo wireless headphones or $200 in Promo Cash. There will be a grand prize drawing at 10 p.m. on the days of the promotion at which one winner will be awarded $4,800 in Promo Cash and their choice of the Beats Solo wireless headphones or an additional $200 Promo Cash. Majestic Rewards player’s club members receive one complimentary entry. Get one bonus entry for every 25 points earned playing slots and table games.

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Opinions are solely those of the writer. Reach him at jgbrokopp1@gmail.com.

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