My recent trip to Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina has left me with some major questions regarding their slot and video poker machines.
I’ve always felt that video poker and slot machines that were in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and even Tunica and Biloxi, MS were regulated and you had nothing to worry about. I felt it was too much of a risk for a casino to lose their gambling license if they were found to have tampered with any of the machines.
I know casinos have been caught doing this in the past, but I feel the major casinos in these areas are on the up and up. However, I’m not so sure about casinos that are on Indian reservations such as Harrah’s Cherokee in North Carolina.
Indian reservation casinos vary between class II and class III style video poker and slot machines. Class III is considered “Vegas-Style” and are the same machines you would find in Vegas and AC and run on what’s called a “Random Number Generator” or “RNG.” Class II are called virtual lottery terminals and all the outcomes are predetermined. Any winning gambler should stay away from Class II machines.
One of my base casinos is Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. I’ve been playing there for several years, but my concerns have begun to grow. I do believe their Game King video poker machines are class III because I believe Game King only makes class III machines (Update: Come to find out this isn’t true Game King does make class II machines). My problem is who regulates these machines?
In Las Vegas, there is an agency that overseas casinos and sends people out to periodically test the machines and make sure they are in compliance. In North Carolina I don’t know of such an agency. I know there was a state law that kept Harrah’s Cherokee from having live dealers with real cards, the cards were computerized (law has been changed live dealers will be coming to Cherokee), but who makes sure their machines are not fixed? I know there is a minimum payback percentage in NC, but who makes sure it is followed.
My personal concern is their video poker machines. If they are class II machines the pay-table on the machine is basically meaningless. Class II video poker machines should never be played, they are preset as to their payout.
I’ve been on a heavy losing streak at Harrah’s Cherokee, in fact it is the only casino I am in the negative for over the last several years, other than the Palms in Vegas which I only visited once. Of course that could just be coincidental, but I’m beginning to wonder.
I’ve always said Casinos have no reason to fix the machines because they are already programmed to their advantage. However, this case is different. Video Poker payback percentages are supposed to be based on the pay-table and they have some high payback machines, so there is incentive to “fix” the machine.
Anybody out there who knows the gaming laws in North Carolina and who regulates and tests the machines to make sure they are fair and run on a Random Number Generator (RNG), please let me know. Until I find some proof, I remain skeptical and will stop playing at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino in North Carolina.