Gaming Strategy
Featured Stories
Legal News Financial News Casino Opening and Remodeling News Gaming Industry Executives Author Home Author Archives Author Books Search Articles Subscribe
Newsletter Signup
Stay informed with the
NEW Casino City Times newsletter!
Recent Articles
Best of John Robison
author's picture

Ask the Slot Expert: Do casinos ever bring back slot machines?

29 July 2020

Question: Is it possible for a casino to obtain a slot machine that was taken off the casino floor due to leasing reasons?

Venetian recently took out Michael Jackson's Wanna Be Starting Something and I'm a big MJ Fan lol. Every time I try to play the new slot machines I just get sad because all the other slots are really boring. Every time I talk to the slot attendants they say people aggressively ask about the machine all the time, I was even told to complain because they say that they've actually seen the casino bring back slot machines because of the demand.

I want to ask you, do you think that it's possible for a casino to bring that slot machine back or should I just give up and look elsewhere :(

Answer: Just about anything is possible. No one thought Suncoast, which used to have a lot of high-paying video poker and then didn't, would bring back some high-paying games.

I learned a new acronym researching this Michael Jackson machine. It's available in two versions: WAP and NAP.

I know WAP stands for Wide Area Progressive, but I couldn't figure out what NAP stands for.

Sometimes multiple machines in different casinos participate in a progressive. That's the Wide Area Progressive, like Megabucks. Sometimes a machine has its own personal progressive, that's a Stand-Alone Progressive.

Sometimes multiple machines, in multiples casinos owned by one company or just in one casino or just in one bank, participate in the progressive. I've always referred to these as Local Area Progressives, using the corresponding terminology from computer networking (WAN = wide-area network, LAN = local area network).

Instead of local-area progressive, it looks like Scientific Gaming (Bally) has chosen NAP, near-area progressive. I can't decide whether LAP or NAP is the better acronym.

I don't know how widespread this term is in the slot industry. I searched for nap slot machine. Google returned pages for Konami's Purr-Fect Cat Nap slot machine, public places to take a nap in Las Vegas, a book entitled The Big Dirt Nap, where to sleep in the Las Vegas airport, nap schedules and sleep training, and the National Atheist Party (NAP). The only results that tied NAP to a type of slot machine were on the Scientific Gaming site.

As a general rule, machines that participate in a multi-machine progressive or machines that use licensed intellectual property (IP), are placed in casinos on a participation basis. Rather than the casino buying the machine outright or leasing it, the casino and the manufacturer and the owner of the IP split the money won by the machine. In this case, the Venetian, Scientific Games, and the Michael Jackson estate each get their respective beak's wet.

Participation machines usually have signs on them saying that you can't redeem free play on them. If you lose all of your $25 in free play on the machine, the casino didn't win $25 in cold, hard cash from you. Why should the casino split the money it fronted in the first place?

Casinos sometimes give an area of their slot floor -- usually an under-performing area -- to a manufacturer and let the manufacturer decide which games to put in the area. These areas frequently have a high turnover rate for machines and the area always has only machines from one manufacturer.

I've used slot locator services on manufacturers' sites in the past. Even though you'll get hits if you search for scientific games slot locator, I couldn't find one on its site. Clicking on the customer link might seem promising, but players are not the slot manufacturers' customers. Casinos are their customers. There's very little content on the slot manufacturers' sites that is geared to the playing public.

You did the right thing. You told the slot personnel that you miss the game. And the people you spoke with gave the best advice: complain. Well, actually, I wouldn't complain but send an email to whatever Contact Us address you can find and say how much you liked playing the machine and wish they would bring it back. Written communication carries more weight than a spoken comment. And always keep your eyes open to see if other casinos still have the machine.

I don't know if Gandhi was the first person to say this, but it's true: If you don't ask, you don't get it.

If you've had enough coronavirus talk, switch to something else now.

Question: When you venture from your field and opine on subjects you do not have full knowledge of, you leave yourself open to conjecture.

Such as the case when you commented on the President’s statement on disinfectant/UV lights. You sarcastically reacted as if he didn’t know what he was saying. Keep in mind this President is a former businessman, skilled in talking in boardrooms, he is unpolished unlike the former President, the public community organizer who was glib speaker. Please read the following article on how UV lights are injected sic inserted into the lungs inside respirators to kill (disinfect)coronavirus.

Your last statement about the masks needs to be addressed as well.

If there is anybody on this planet that does not need a mask is the President. He gets tested twice a day. He does carry a mask with him and depending on the location i.e. elevator he will put one on. Its only on the insistence of the press to deride him on the issue does he address it.

I am an informed citizen and up to date on current events. Our President is bombarded daily from multiple factions determined to undermine him.I do not approve on all his views but I understand he was duly elected and respect his position. The man is a Patriot and believes our country should come first. The man is not earning a penny, does not need it and doing it for the love of his country. And that is good enough for me.

Answer: The subject of this email was "Get your facts right," so let's get some facts right. I learned quite a bit by doing a deep dive on the points brought up and getting a fuller knowledge of them.

"Trump gets tested twice a day." On April 21, press secretary Kayleigh McEneny said, Trump is the "most tested man in America...He's tested more than anyone, multiple times a day."

A few hours later, in the first installment of the rebooted Coronavirus Task Force Briefing, a reporter asked Trump why he was tested more than once a day.

He replied, "I don't know about more than one. I do probably on average a test every two days, three days, and I don't know of any time I've taken two in a day -- but I could see that happening."

I'll grant you that Trump is the most tested man in the United States, maybe even the world, but even he doesn't say that he's tested twice a day.

I will also grant you that because of the frequent testing, Trump does not need to wear a mask to decrease the possibility that he will spread the infection to others. I've been meaning to point that out in a column for a while now.

I will posit however that if there is anybody on this planet that needs to wear a mask, it is the President of the United States. To set an example. Would we have had fights over wearing face coverings if Trump had embraced them after we learned more about SARS-COV-2 and how face coverings could lessen the infection rate? Would we still be having those fights today? How many of his supporters, packed together to greet him this past weekend in Bedminster, wore masks?

In many of Nevada Governor Sisolak's press briefings, he pulls down his mask to make his remarks and answer questions. The mask is plainly visible around his neck. At the conclusion of the briefing, we see him pull the mask back up before the TV coverage has switched to another shot. In his most recent press conference (7/27), he wore his mask the entire time.

Moving on, I don't understand how someone could be both skilled in talking in boardrooms and unpolished. Shouldn't someone who has given hundreds of interviews, made an untold number of public speeches and hosted nearly 200 episodes of a game show, negotiated dozens and dozens of deals, was the public face of Trump University, Trump Airlines, Trump Steaks, Trump Ice Natural Spring Water and Trump casinos, and wrote The Art of the Deal, Surviving at the Top, The Art of the Comeback, The America We Deserve, How to Get Rich, The Way to the Top, Think Like a Billionaire, The Best Golf Advice I Ever Received, Why You Want to Be Rich, How to Build a Fortune, The Best Real Estate Advice I Ever Received, The Way to Success, Think Big and Kick Ass, Never Give Up, Think Like a Champion, Time to Get Tough, Midas Touch, Trump Tower and Crippled America-- shouldn't someone who said "I'm very highly educated. I know words, I know the best words." -- shouldn't that person be at least as polished as a "public community organizer"?

Next if you missed an installment of the first season of Coronavirus Task Force Briefings, you can learm a lot by reading the transcripts.

Previously on Coronavirus Task Force Briefings: On April 23, Acting Undersecretary of Homeland Security for Science and Technology, William Bryan, described research that showed how sunlight, temperature, humidity, and disinfectants can kill SARS-COV-2. He described the effects on aerosols and on surfaces ("we’re talking about nonporous surfaces: door handles, stainless steel").

Bryan listed some practical applications of the research:

  • increasing the temperature and humidity of potentially contaminated indoor spaces appears to reduce the stability of the virus
  • extra care may be warranted for dry environments that do not have exposure to solar light
  • bleach will kill the virus in five minutes; isopropyl alcohol will kill the virus in 30 seconds, and that’s with no manipulation, no rubbing — just spraying it on and letting it go. You rub it and it goes away even faster.

This exchange happened after Mr. Bryan concluded his remarks (

THE PRESIDENT: So I asked Bill a question that probably some of you are thinking of, if you’re totally into that world, which I find to be very interesting. So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, which you can do either through the skin or in some other way, and I think you said you’re going to test that too. It sounds interesting.

ACTING UNDER SECRETARY BRYAN: We’ll get to the right folks who could.

THE PRESIDENT: Right. And then I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning. Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that. So, that, you’re going to have to use medical doctors with. But it sounds — it sounds interesting to me.

So we’ll see. But the whole concept of the light, the way it kills it in one minute, that’s — that’s pretty powerful.

A reporter asked about injecting disinfectants:

Q [to Mr. Bryan]: But I — just, can I ask about — the President mentioned the idea of cleaners, like bleach and isopropyl alcohol you mentioned. There’s no scenario that that could be injected into a person, is there? I mean —

ACTING UNDER SECRETARY BRYAN: No, I’m here to talk about the findings that we had in the study. We won’t do that within that lab and our lab. So —

THE PRESIDENT: It wouldn’t be through injection. We’re talking about through almost a cleaning, sterilization of an area. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work. But it certainly has a big effect if it’s on a stationary object.

Later in the briefing, a reporter asked a question about how hot and humid weather did not seem to be slowing the virus in Florida or Singapore:

Q: Yes, Mr. President, after the presentation we just saw about the heat and the humidity, is it dangerous for you to make people think they would be safe by going outside in the heat, considering that so many people are dying in Florida, considering that this virus has had an outbreak in Singapore, places that are hot and —

THE PRESIDENT: Yeah, here we go.

Q — are humid?

THE PRESIDENT: Here we go. The new — the new headline is: “Trump Asks People to go Outside. That’s Dangerous.” Here we go. Same old group. You ready? I hope people enjoy the sun. And if it has an impact, that’s great. I’m just hearing this — not really for the first time. I mean, there’s been a rumor that — you know, a very nice rumor — that you go outside in the sun, or you have heat and it does have an effect on other viruses.

But now we get it from one of the great laboratories of the world. I have to say, it covers a lot more territory than just this. This is — this is probably an easy thing, relatively speaking, for you.

I would like you to speak to the medical doctors to see if there’s any way that you can apply light and heat to cure. You know — but if you could. And maybe you can, maybe you can’t. Again, I say, maybe you can, maybe you can’t. I’m not a doctor. But I’m like a person that has a good you know what.

Q: But, sir, you’re the President.

THE PRESIDENT: Deborah, have you ever heard of that? The heat and the light, relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?

DR. BIRX: Not as a treatment. I mean, certainly fever --


DR. BIRX: — is a good thing. When you have a fever, it helps your body respond. But not as -- I've not seen heat or light --

THE PRESIDENT: I think it’s a great thing to look at. I mean, you know. Okay?

Q: But respectfully, sir, you’re the President. And people tuning into these briefings, they want to get information and guidance and want to know what to do.

THE PRESIDENT: Hey — hey, Phil.

Q: They’re not looking for a rumor.

THE PRESIDENT: Hey, Phil. I’m the President and you’re fake news. And you know what I’ll say to you? I’ll say it very nicely. I know you well.

Q: Why do you say that?

THE PRESIDENT: I know you well.

Because I know the guy; I see what he writes. He’s a total faker.

Q [a different reporter]: He’s a good reporter.

THE PRESIDENT: So, are you ready? Are you ready? Are you ready? It’s just a suggestion from a brilliant lab by a very, very smart, perhaps brilliant, man. He’s talking about sun. He’s talking about heat. And you see the numbers. So that’s it; that’s all I have. I’m just here to present talent. I’m here to present ideas, because we want ideas to get rid of this thing. And if heat is good and if sunlight is good, that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned.

The statements that UV light and disinfectants could be used internally were ridiculed and thus began BleachGate. But as I made a point of saying last week, Trump never, ever suggested that people ingest or inject bleach or disinfectants, only that if these products and UV light work so well externally, maybe they could be used internally as well.

Why might these statements be ridiculed? My bottle of bleach has warnings about what to do if the product comes in contact with skin or if the product is ingested. Likewise, my bottle of Clorox disinfectanct has numerous warnings about using it in a well-ventilated area, not taking the product internally and not letting it come into contact with skin. The label clearly says that it is for use on "non-pourous, hard surfaces" only, as Mr. Bryan clearly said.

Doctors moreover warn about exposure to UV rays and that we should put on sunscreen whenever we go outside. This page on the American Cancer Society's site describes the dangers of exposure to UV radiation, including eye problems and a weakened immune system. According to this page on, the website of the Skin Cancer Foundation:

UV exposure is a powerful attack on the skin, creating damage that can range from premature wrinkles to dangerous skin cancer. Damage from UV exposure is cumulative and increases your skin cancer risk over time. While your body can repair some of the DNA damage in skin cells, it can't repair all of it.

The article you cited was published on April 24, the day after the comments. The article references a press release on April 20 from Aytu BioScience about signing an "exclusive global license with Cedars-Sinai for potential coronavirus treatment." The potential treatment is their Healight medical device, a catheter with an LED that emits UV-A light. It was originally designed for intracolonic use.

Other Aytu products include: Aciphex Sprinkle, a proton pump inhibitor to treat GERD in pediatric patients; Karbinal ER, an antihistamine; Natesto, nasally administered gel for testosterone replacement therapy; Poly-Vi-Flor and Tri-Vi-Flor, fluoride-based supplements; and The MiOXSYS System, "A novel, rapid in vitro diagnostic semen analysis system with the potential to become a standard of care in the diagnosis and management of male infertility."

Now we have a complicated turn of events. Twitter suspended and then reinstated Aytu's account. YouTube removed its video promoting the device for use in treating COVID-19 because it violated YouTube's Terms of Service (it depicted a treatment that has not received FDA approval). Aytu reposted the video to Vimeo, which also deleted it. In last April Aytu promised peer-reviewed studies about the product in a few days or a few weeks.

In order to avoid confirmation bias, I searched for positive articles about Healight. Everything I found was just a rehash of the press release. I couldn't find any of the peer-reviewed studies promised three months ago.

I did find the video, which carries this disclaimer: "Proposed prototype device depicted. This has not been reviewed by the FDA. Currently not indicated for treatment of COVID-19." Emphasis mine, but I'll concede that medical device manufacturers have to include these sorts of disclaimers when they don't have FDA approval.

I found a number of independent articles skeptical about the device. I'll pull quotes from some of them.

Did YouTube Remove a Video About a Potential Coronavirus Treatment to Make Trump Look Bad?

Dr. David Brenner, director of Columbia University’s Center for Radiological Research, has been exploring ultraviolet technology to combat coronavirus, and he has seen promise using far-UVC light [to kill the virus in the air]. He doubts UVA light would work and thinks it may even be dangerous to internal tissue.

"It’s an interesting idea, though I have doubts that it would work," Brenner told the Dispatch Fact Check. "The airways and lung are pretty complex geometrical structures, so any small amount of material between the virus and the UV light source would protect the virus."

"In addition, UVA is not particularly effective at killing viruses—far less effective than UVC," Brenner said. He mentioned one 2006 paper from the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research that showed while UVC light efficiently kills SAR-CoV-1 (the virus that caused the 2003 outbreak of SARS), UVA light does not.

"Finally, I have some concerns about safety of the lining of lung exposed directly to the UVA light, without any protective layer of dead cells, which is typically the case with external exposure to sunlight," Brenner said.

Healight: A highly implausible treatment for COVID-19

Let’s say Healight works exactly as claimed by Aytu (in vitro, at least) and killed only the cells infected with coronavirus while sparing the surrounding normal cells. (Never mind that the majority of the cells in the respiratory epithelial lining of the bronchial passages are likely to be infected when the disease is severe enough to require intubation, the method by which Healight is designed to be introduced into the lungs.) Let’s further assume that it does the same thing that Aytu claims it does in cell culture when the light is inserted into the trachea via endotracheal tube hooked up to the ventilator. First of all, shining a light inside the trachea is likely to all those infected cells within range of light of high enough energy to do it is likely to kill them all en mass, rather than in a random fashion (as the virus likely does as it replicates in one cell, killing it and releasing virus in the vicinity to kill other cells). What does that mean? It means that, instead of cells lining the inside of the trachea and bronchial tubes being killed over time by the immune system and through dying as virus is released, there will be a wave of cell death over a much shorter period of time, thus greatly exacerbating the inflammatory response that has damaged the lungs to the point where the patient needs to be on a ventilator.

Of course, that’s being generous and assuming that the light’s selectivity for virus-infected cells is perfect and that it doesn’t damage normal cells as well. In medicine, there is no such intervention, be it drug or light (as in radiation therapy) that is perfectly selective for the target cells. Radiation therapy is selective for cancer cells because they replicate faster than normal cells and their DNA repair mechanisms are impaired, but still can damage and destroy normal cells that are replicating. The same is true of chemotherapy. The same is likely true of Healight.

Nevertheless, there is some evidence that under certain circumstances UV light can be beneficial. It can be used in phototherapy to treat some skin conditions, e.g., psoriasis. It can also be used to reduce surgical infections (Narrow-Spectrum UV Light May Reduce Surgical Infections), but note this statement on the page:

"Unfortunately, this UV light is also harmful to human tissue and can lead to skin cancer and cataracts in the eye," said study leader David J. Brenner, PhD, the Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics, professor of environmental health sciences, and director of the Center for Radiological Research at CUMC. "UV light is almost never used in the operating room during surgery, as these health hazards necessitate the use of cumbersome protective equipment for both surgical staff and patients."

Also note that the article looked at an extremely narrow band of UVC (not UVA) light, the light is to be used externally ("continuously shone on the wound during surgery"), the tests were conducted against a bacterium (not a virus), and nothing has been tested on a person.

If you want to claim that Trump was just brainstorming ideas and thinking outside the box, fine. I think a televised Coronavirus Task Force briefing that is supposed to present factual information to a frightened nation that is trying to protect itself in the throes of a pandemic is not the place to do it.

I think a Coronavirus Task Force briefing is also not the place to "ask a question sarcastically to reporters like you, just to see what would happen." Whitmer, Hogan say emergency hotline calls rose after Trump disinfectant remarks Dozens call hotlines about ingesting bleach after Trump hints it may cure virus California Poison Control Sees Jump In Calls Related To Ingesting Disinfectant After Trump’s Comments Michigan poison control calls jump after Trump’s disinfectant remarks Poison calls spike in some areas after Trump suggests injecting disinfectant for COVID States see spike in poison control calls following Trump's comments on injecting disinfectant Coronavirus: Trump 'can't imagine why' US disinfectant calls spiked

I'll let surgical oncologist Dr. Gorski have the final word (President Trump and “just asking questions” about disinfectants and UV light to treat COVID-19):

Jokes on Twitter from Twitter denizens being Twitter denizens aside, though, how ignorant do you have to be not to know that most chemicals and interventions that work externally (e.g., disinfectants, light, bleach, soap) to inactivate coronavirus will not work taken internally...Seriously, if the manufacturer of Lysol feels the need after your press conference to warn that the internal use of disinfectants is potentially harmful, you really screwed up.

Here are the latest figures from I'm posting this data because as the totals get bigger and the leftmost digits in the totals stay constant for longer periods of time, it's more difficult to register the change in the numbers. The totals sound sort of the same from day to day and week to week, even when they're increasing by a thousand on a daily basis.

Click here for the latest Covid data.

Notice that the number of weekly deaths increased in both the United States and in Nevada this past week. You can Google deaths lagging indicator to find many instances in which scientists warned that we shouldn't be too optimistic about new deaths holding steady even as new cases increased. Certainly, better treatments and a lower average age of a new case can lead to a lower death rate. But most people who die from COVID-19 do so weeks after being infected. We might be seeing the echo of the increase in the weekly number of cases in the weekly number of deaths now.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots