Joined: Sep 26, 2010
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September 26th, 2010 at 12:30:58 AM permalink
Hello all, new here. I've read WoO regularly, but just recently found that there is a forum for this type of discussion. Good stuff!

Anyway, I'm going to dive right in and make my first post about something that I find odd or deceiving.

First a little background: Here in OK, we have many very large tribal casinos that are built, owned, and operated by individual tribes. These casinos came about due to the IGRA of 1987, and also due to the State of OK recognizing tribal land as a sovereign nation. Each tribe has full discretion in offering various types of gaming that do not involve dice or roulette wheels, so most places have slots, video poker, blackjack, hold'em, baccarat, and various others. (actually one casino has managed to offer craps and roulette using cards) The only caveat, of course, is that they are restricted to offering only Class II gaming if they wish to be the sole manager of such activity and not pay state taxes. From what I understand in my research, a few tribes now have gaming compacts with the State of OK for Class III gaming.

After having read through the Wizard of Odds excellent articles, I realized that none of the Indian casinos in OK have published payback rates on their slot machines (or any other useful statistic for gamblers). This led me to do research to find out if any governing body, such as a gaming control board, exists to monitor the gaming offerings as an independent 3rd party. Unfortunately, it seems like this is not in place.

The only note I can find that possibly relates to this would be for the OK State Finance office that monitors and carries out provisions of tribal compacts (basically, make sure taxes from Class III gaming are collected).

"Who regulates Indian Gaming?

Indian tribes are the primary regulators of Class II gaming. Regulation of Class III gaming may be addressed in Tribal-State compacts and varies by state with tribes remaining the primary regulator in most states. In Oklahoma, the tribes are the primary regulators of both Class II and Class III gaming. Both Class II and Class III gaming are subject to the provisions of the IGRA and oversight by the NIGC."

So, seeing as how the tribes are not willing to publish payback statistics, and the State of OK most likely does not want to rattle that cage, is it pretty much a "crap shoot" to gamble at these casinos?

I'm not much of a gambler, since the most I do is around $40/mo on slots or video poker, but a lot of the findings of WoO's site just aren't holding air when I try them out. I'm somewhat afraid that these tribes could be milking everyone with a really large house edge and sub 75% payback rates on slots.

My intention is not to be some sort of conspiracy theorist about the tribes rigging slot machines, but I'm curious if anyone here would willingly play at a casino where the terms of operation are basically kept secret. I assume there will always be a minimum level of payback since they offer a lot of IGT/WMS machines, but it could be bad enough that we're all better off saving for a trip to Vegas where the gaming is regulated by a state commission.
Joined: Oct 19, 2009
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September 26th, 2010 at 1:28:00 AM permalink
You are being quite sensible.
I would not play in an Indian casino if I had any other option at all.
I would not play in an Oklahoma casino unless I literally had no other choice at all. If I was forced to play in an Oklahoma casino, I would NEVER play so much as one cent in their slot machines.

Any sort of Oversight Body has to either be an effective one or it is useless. In Oklahoma, you are dealing with a "Rubber Stamp". In most Indian casinos, that is the situation: the regulating body has no independence from the tribe.

Your situation in Oklahoma is to assume that the various electronic chips inside the slot machine are set to the cheapest payout that would be legal in Nevada. After all, they probably got the machine from Nevada and ain't no computer chip manufacturing company going to design and manufacture any computer chips that don't meet Nevada standards since Nevada is their major market. This is a reasonable assumption, but some machines can be imported from abroad too.

So quite frankly, if you are really concerned about KNOWING you are getting a "fair shake" ... don't gamble in an Indian casino and certainly not an Indian casino in Oklahoma. If you are comfortable with a mere assumption that is fairly reasonable, then play in an Indian casino but NOT a slot machine there!

Dispute resolution? Its Indian tribal police, Indian tribal jail, Indian tribal lawyers, Indian tribal judge. Its also an Indian tribal gaming authority, but with different letterhead and an extra step of rigamarole before they use that rubber stamp.

There is one man who lives in Texas, drives to Oklahoma to work as a dealer in an Indian casino. He does his gambling in Texas or Nevada, but not one cent in Oklahoma. I think he has the right idea.
Joined: May 25, 2010
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September 26th, 2010 at 6:17:40 AM permalink
They don't "rig" the slot machines. They don't have to as they aren't stating any specific pay back. Since they aren't held to any standard, they can't cheat by rigging the machines to pay less than anything stated.

I was disgusted at the Oklahoma casinos when I finally saw that not only were they taking a healthy rake at the poker tables, they were also taking the small blind on every hand. WTF? Seriously? For those readers at home shaking their heads, be it known that they all so charge .50 cents to play every hand of blackjack, regardless of denomination. I've seen people playing $5/hand, plopping down that 10% .50 fee on every hand. I don't need for The Wizard to tell me those people are dumb asses!
Joined: Feb 7, 2010
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September 26th, 2010 at 11:43:04 PM permalink
Barona does the "manufacturer's best payback" promotion, and they are an Indian casino. The manufacturer would not risk their reputation to certify a slot machine as such. Of course, not all machines are thus certified, but they are in an especially competitive market and I find it hard to believe that they would get that much business if their take was higher than average.

Also, video poker with a Game King or other similar machine at any Class III casino also should be honest takes. If you see genies or anything else, stay away, but I think the California Indian casino video poker are definitely honest.
Joined: Sep 8, 2010
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September 27th, 2010 at 10:01:36 AM permalink
Quote: BigTip

I was disgusted at the Oklahoma casinos when I finally saw that not only were they taking a healthy rake at the poker tables, they were also taking the small blind on every hand. WTF? Seriously? For those readers at home shaking their heads, be it known that they all so charge .50 cents to play every hand of blackjack, regardless of denomination. I've seen people playing $5/hand, plopping down that 10% .50 fee on every hand. I don't need for The Wizard to tell me those people are dumb asses!

Apparently this is an Oklahoma law; the Indian casinos have to pay the state that much each hand because of something to do with casino-banked table games such as blackjack or some nonsense. Anyway, at the one Oklahoma casino I've been to, Downstream, if you had a player's card the casino payed the fee themselves.

Again, a little odd, but whatever. They also had one "card craps" table, which I didn't get to try because it was closed for the night. That looked a little odd too.
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September 27th, 2010 at 10:44:28 AM permalink
Yeah, I don't know if I agree with the proposition that you shouldn't prefer to play at Indian casinos. For example, Barona, which somebody brought up, has some of the best rules for gamblers on their Blackjack and Video Poker games. The Indian casino in Mississippi is preferable atmosphere-wise and probably gambling wise to the Tunica and Gulf Shore joints. Four Winds and Soaring Eagle in Michigan are nicer than the Detroit and Northern Indiana casinos and the gambling is about the same.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
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September 27th, 2010 at 10:56:57 AM permalink
I went to Winstar once and the scene was so depressing I never went back. The facilities themselves were okay, I guess. It's a shame since I'm only an hour away, but the next time I do non-Vegas gambling it will be in Louisiana.
Solo venimos, solo nos vamos. Y aqui nos juntamos, juntos que estamos.
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September 28th, 2010 at 9:05:47 AM permalink
Joined: Aug 30, 2010
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September 28th, 2010 at 10:33:24 AM permalink
I couldn't quantify it but the OK casinos always felt squirrelly. As a Dallas guy, it's the closest option, and I still go up there for concerts every now and then. But yeah, if I really feel like gambling, it's Shreveport (3.5 hours), Tunica, or New Orleans/Biloxi (flying). I have more free flights on Southwest than I'll ever use and the casino usually picks up my room.
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January 19th, 2015 at 5:16:23 AM permalink
For some reason I just now found this thread while trying to find info on Oklahoma casinos.

Interestingly, the OP never made another post or ever returned to this site [at least while signed in] after the day he started the thread, never replying even. Sometimes I wonder if people think their thread disappeared and get bummed. Or maybe he has given up on gambling since he "never wins" LOL

My main focus on what seems to be hard to find out, revolves around the Class II/III business. If there is an indication of some sort on the screen that the game is "actually bingo" by other-than-tiny text , an easily seen bingo card image, or an immediately appearing Genie, I'll be 'good'. If it is harder than that, I could use some help.

Is this a reasonable conclusion? You check out a video poker machine and there are paytables. I'm thinking they can't post those if they are just baloney. So seeing paytables means it must be class III?
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!” She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder

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