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Are online pokies rigged?

Is it possible for online casinos operators to rig popular pokie games? Technically, yes – but online casinos which want a dedicated membership will not engage in illegal and fraudulent behaviour. All the casinos we endorse are regulated  by independent gaming authorities, and if we found one to be mistreating its players, we would instantly remove the site from our list of recommendations.

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Occasionally you might find a casino which has rigged its games and cheated its players. Typically, this is a fly-by-night operation probably gone the next time you go there. These types of websites are rare and easy to avoid if you know what to look for.

Regulating online casinos

ecogra testing service
Always look our for this logo to ensure the pokies have been tested.

Reputable Internet casinos actually prefer to have some sort of regulation in place. This keeps the gaming safe and above board, and if a casino is known to be safe and above board, more players spend money there. That’s a casino’s ultimate goal whether it is an online or a brick and mortar establishment – to have more customers spend more money there, have a good time, and come back for more.

Consequently, online casinos submit to jurisdictions based on where their physical servers are in the real world. If the island of Antigua is listed on an online casino as its jurisdiction, that means Antigua’s rules regarding gambling apply to this casino, even though it is in the geographical never never land of the Internet.

Furthermore, countries that allow their citizens to access online casinos from other countries often have regulations of their own that casinos abide by in order to get business from the citizens of those countries.

For example, Australia requires all pokies at land-based casinos to have a payout rate of 87% or better. This means that the machine returns 87% of the money put into it (or in the case of online pokies, the software game returns that money). This also means on average, over time, the game makes a 13% profit.

Another way to ensure that the pokies are safe and secure games that are devoid of any kind of cheating, is choosing a casino with reputable software providers. Online casinos choose their software developers carefully, who in turn use companies to verify and certify the safety of their games, such as gaming auditor eCOGRA.

If you look around at Internet casinos you will find reputable ones use the same software providers, such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment, and Playtech. These software developers have a reputation for creating safe and reliable games.

Advantages to running an online casino

Online casinos have some distinct advantages over land based casinos, which may allow them to have their online pokies payout at higher rates than land based pokies. Online casinos do not have to purchase large areas of land to accommodate thousands of people in the same place, since you can play online pokies from anywhere, including the comfort of your own home.

Online casinos also do not have to hire nearly as many personnel, dealers, janitors, food service workers, pit workers and so on. Online casinos also do not have to provide maintenance and repairs for their pokies, since these are software programs.

microgaming twisted circus pokie
Online pokies have a look more room to add unique features.

An online casino does have to spend money on hiring customer service and technical support staff, on licensing for games and for ensuring secure financial transactions, but so does a land based casino. Consequently, online casinos can make the same amount of profits as land based casinos but with far less overhead. This allows online casinos to offer sign up bonuses and match deposits.

It may also allow online casinos to offer higher payout percentages to their players. In competition against land based casinos, this affords online casinos a distinct advantage. It is true many land based casinos also have an online gaming presence too, so that they aren’t exactly in competition with each other. Nevertheless, higher winning percentages tend to attract more players, which is in keeping with a casino’s ultimate goal, whether online or land based.

What exactly is a rigged casino anyway?

ecogra rtp payouts
You can view the pokies RTP at online casinos via eCOGRA’s logo.

The US President, Bill Clinton, when asked if a statement he had made during the Monica Lewinsky investigation “was utterly false,” famously answered, “It depends on what the meaning of the word is is.”

Similarly, the answer to the question of whether online pokies are rigged also depends on what the meaning of the word “rigged” is. Both online pokies and land-based pokies are designed so that the casino wins over time. This is not a dishonest practice, since gambling regulations throughout the world allow casinos to rig games slightly in their favour.

However, regulations do limit to what degree pokies are rigged. That limit in Australia is 87%. Most casinos whether online or land-based allow their games to payout at rates above 90% in order not to run afoul of any regulations, but also because the higher payout rate allows casinos a comfortable profit without scaring away players.

When you play online pokies, or even land-based ones, keep in mind no game ever pays out over 100%, so the idea you can win over time while playing pokies is a myth. Instead, it’s better to approach them as games of chance which you play for fun, and if you win big, get out while you’re still ahead. If playing pokies online, be sure to avoid any blacklisted casino sites.

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