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How Do Video Lottery Terminals Work?

A VLT or VGT is an easy to play gaming machine, often operated by a combination of touch screens and buttons. VLTs offer a range of familiar games upon which players can place wagers. VLTs can offer one game for play or a large menu of games. Depending on the jurisdiction, they can include games such as keno, lotto, blackjack, roulette, bingo, line games and various forms of card games. VLTs are fully automated and operate from customary power networks and connections and are connected to a certified Central Monitoring System (CMS) through a standard telecommunications or broadband connection.

VLTs incorporate several measures to assure secure game play. First, the machines are durably constructed and can only be accessed by authorized, trained personnel. Second, records of game play are generated on hard meters and in electronic form stored locally within each VLT, the site POS terminals and within the CMS. Finally, Southland Entertainment administers comprehensive training to the lottery Retailers with respect to enforcement of applicable regulations and maintenance of a secure gaming environment.

Game Play Parameters

Game play parameters are set within the VLT itself. The outcome of all video lottery games played on a VLT is determined by the Random Number Generator (RNG) or equivalent random determinate device contained within each VLT. The key parameters of game play are the theoretical win percentage, the number of wagers and prize payouts, and the aggregate limit on prize payouts. Records of each game played, and the amount of all credits paid by players and prizes paid out from the VLT are housed locally on the VLT, the site POS terminals and in the CMS, and can be monitored by the Government at all times.

A player inserts money into the VLT to play and hits a cash out button when the player is finished playing. At the end of play, the VLT will then print a ticket reflecting the player’s remaining cash balance and/or winnings. VLTs can incorporate Ticket In Ticket Out (TITO) technology which allows the player to insert the winning ticket into another VLT or the same VLT to continue play. If regulations allow, the TITO ticket can be cashed by inserting the ticket into the ticket redemption terminal where it is validated and cashed for the player, or the ticket is honored by the video lottery Retailer who validates the ticket and pays out to the player the cash awards reflected on the printed ticket. This process for paying player winnings assures cash in the video lottery system is always tracked by the CMS.

Player Tracking

If regulations allow, VLTs can be further equipped to support the tracking of individual player gaming through a separate electronic card, which can provide operational insights with respect to the most successful games, locations, and player preferences. More importantly, player tracking permits the launch of “customer rewards” programs that offer higher volume players benefits provided through marketing and retail partners, such as discounts on hotel stays, apparel, dining. or just cash back. These benefits augment overall play by increasing customer satisfaction with the video lottery experience.

VLT & VGT Selection

VLTs are manufactured by several manufacturing companies that generally produce gaming equipment and gaming networks for video lottery. Southland extensively reviews and tests competing products available for deployment in video lottery platforms, and has the capability to efficiently choose, consulting with its government customers, the best VLTs and best game software that maximizes play in each jurisdiction.

Secure Gaming Environment

Overall, the games hardware and software are designed and built according to standards that have been developed over time by various regulated gaming jurisdictions and tested by third party gaming labs for durability, security, fairness, accuracy and accountability to ensure a secure gaming environment. VLTs incorporate a number of measures to assure secure game play. First, the machines are durably constructed, and can only be accessed by authorized, trained personnel. Second, records of game play are reflected on hard meters and in electronic form which are stored locally within each VLT, the POS and the CMS. Finally, as approved by the government, Southland Entertainment administers comprehensive training to the lottery Retailers with respect to enforcement of applicable regulations and maintenance of a secure gaming environment.


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