Roman Sandals

November 15, 2007

Random Numbers and Pokies

Filed under: social, technology — Craig Lawton @ 2:09 pm

Australians love pokies. The Productivity Commission found in 1999 that we have 21% of the world’s machines in our pubs and clubs.

Somewhere in the dim, distant past poker machines became very much like computers. Somewhere even dimmer and further back in time, I was taught that computers were really bodgy at coming up with random numbers. Indeed they can only come up with pseudo-random numbers.

Gambling venues today prefer the decidedly “pseudo-name” of gaming venues, and maybe for good reason. A device that can guarantee a particular financial return, typically set at 75%-85%, isn’t taking chances. There is negligible risk to the house.
It doesn’t sound random to me. It doesn’t sound like gambling.

Some people may call it entertainment; some people may call it robbery.


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