This story was published more than 7 years ago.
Casino Listings recommends that players avoid playing any slots or casino games developed by Betsoft Gaming. We are releasing this warning for several reasons including abnormalities, documented by our jackpot tracker, in several progressive jackpots offered by Betsoft slot machines, the recent non-payment of a progressive jackpot win to a player, along with a couple of other significant events in the questionable history of the company that goes back a number of years now.
After being alerted to potentially "locked" Betsoft jackpots that are seemingly unable to won by a member of our forum, BlackjackAA, back in September of last year, we set out to monitor and record the values of multiple Betsoft jackpots using our jackpot tracking software. We chose Bovada and Slots.lv to be our test subjects as they have a large customer base and a full collection of Betsoft games. After almost nine months of recording jackpot values we can say with certainty that there is something seriously wrong with these games. In a comparison between Bovada and Slots.lv we have identified two major issues.
Firstly, jackpots on certain games and specific coin sizes are never won at all at Bovada, despite being won many times a week at Slots.lv, even though the numbers show that the amounts being wagered and contributed to these jackpots are much higher at Bovada. It does indeed look as if some of these jackpots are "locked" or unable to be won. The odds of this just being random luck are astronomical.
Secondly, the win frequency of some of the jackpots that are normally won as often as several times a day changed during the period between February and March this year. They were not won at all for a period of around three weeks. Then, at almost the same time, all such jackpots were won and returned to their previous win frequency. If one jackpot did this individually you could chalk it up to luck or variance, but with multiple separate jackpots showing the same thing at the same time it is clear that random luck was not a factor. To us it indicates that the the mechanism that determines a jackpot win, whether it be the random number generator (RNG) or the slot software itself, changed for a period of time then reverted back to its previous behaviour.
We have seen enough to come to the conclusion that these games are not behaving consistently across casinos, and even between coin sizes on the same games. Whether by design or negligent programming, it is clear that Betsoft's progressive jackpot games are not paying jackpots fairly at all times.
This brings us to a recent disturbing case of Jason, a player at a Bitcoin focused casino known as Betcoin.ag. Jason was playing the Betsoft progressive slot The Glam Life when he triggered a free spins round. During that round he hit the game's top paying combination, five yachts straight across the middle payline. His screenshot below shows that he was betting the maximum number of coins: 25 paylines, 5 coins each, for a total of 125 coins. According to the game's paytable (also below) that clearly states "5 yacht icons on max bet wins jackpot", that means he should have won the progressive jackpot for the coin size at which he was playing (0.5 mBTC as it happened). The screenshot clearly shows this to be a million mBTC win. Instead Betsoft's game paid out 1000 coins (500 mBTC) for the line. That payout does not match the game's paytable that indicates 5 yachts should be worth 25,000 coins, assuming a jackpot is not won. The 1450 in the screenshot is the total of the free spins round.
Betcoin.ag Casino's customer service department informed Jason that he did not qualify for the jackpot because he was not "max-betting" at the highest coin size of 1 mBTC. This is obviously nonsense because we know from tracking the jackpots at Bovada that Betsoft games maintain a separate jackpot at each coin size. After the player pointed this out to the casino, it came back to him and changed their story, saying that he did not qualify for the jackpot because the winning spin was made during a free spins round. This is an extraordinary claim, as there is nothing in the game or its paytable that states this rule and neither the casino nor Betsoft has provided any evidence to support this claim.
There can only be one of two explanations: the game has either underpaid the player to the tune of a million credits, or the game does not function according to its paytable. Either explanation makes Betsoft look unprofessional, if not crooked. We here at Casino Listings unanimously believe that Jason should be paid the jackpot.
Update, 26 June 2016: Betsoft have made a change to the paytable on The Glam Life. The poorly worded sentence that has been added now says: Jackpot cannot be won during any other bonus feature. We can all speculate what the "any other" part means and what it refers to, but it appears that they are trying to cover their tracks on this.
Betsoft claims that the random number generator used for its games is tested and audited by a Malta based organisation Quinel M Ltd. Its last published RNG certificate (attached to the bottom of this article) is dated February 2015. However the possibility of either nefarious intent or programmatic incompetence cannot be ruled out by this certificate. In simple terms, a game asks for a random number from the RNG, then maps that number to a result - a four symbol win or a losing spin for example. There is nothing stopping either a buggy or crooked game from ignoring the generated number and asking for a new one if it doesn't like the result, so for an audit to be effective it must test the simulated results of an actual game, not just the numbers generated by a RNG. On this point we found section P of the Quinel RNG report to be quite salient:
P) Additional information (RGR Part VI, 26.i) The RNG subject to testing (test item J14120011 - I001) was tested independently without any game connected; no integrations between RNG and games were tested.
So there you have it: this audit does not test the "end to end" interaction between Betsoft's games and the RNG to ensure that the results that a player actually sees are truly random. The RNG can be a correctly programmed piece of logic that always returns a random number, but this says nothing about the fairness of the operation of the games that use the RNG. The audit is practically worthless.
Betsoft Gaming had its license suspended in July 2014 by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC). There was no reason given for the suspension at the time but we believe that one reason was probably Betsoft's licensing of its games to casinos that accept players from the United States. The AGCC set a regulatory hearing date of October 13, 2014 to go over the case, but on September 25, 2014 Betsoft voluntarily surrendered its licensing certificate, ending any chance of an investigation into its conduct by the AGCC. Betsoft is currently licensed by Curacao eGaming and its games are provided to many casinos that accept American players. In recent times it has made great strides in distributing its games among casinos in the unregulated Bitcoin casino market.
In October 2010, concerned poker players identified a flaw in several keno games provided by Betsoft to disgraced poker brand Absolute Poker (you may remember them from their involvement in a famous "super-user" cheating scandal in 2008). The games produced results that made it impossible for a player to win, though curiously also ensured that they lost less than if results had been determined purely randomly. With the sting of the cheating scandal fresh in the minds of poker players, many were quick to jump on the bandwagon against Absolute Poker rather than Betsoft. These days knowing what we now know, and of course using 20/20 hindsight, it certainly casts Betsoft's conduct in the matter in a whole new light.
There is a lot of smoke here, and where there is smoke there is usually fire. We have attempted to contact Betsoft about these issues on a number of occasions, but have never received a reply. We think that the best course of action is to make this information public and let players make an informed decision about the games that they play and the casinos that they patronise.
Betsoft is, at a minimum, responsible for gross negligence in its game development and quality assurance processes. These "bugs" and supposedly unwritten rules give us no confidence whatsoever that the games being offered by Betsoft are truly fair, or that they are sufficiently tested, or that the company is adequately regulated. We therefore recommend that players avoid all Betsoft games, and if you are playing at a casino that offers their games, we would urge you to point them to this article and ask them to reconsider whether they wish to continue offering them.
Lastly, we wish to make it clear that we do not believe that Bovada, Slots.lv, or any other casinos running these games, are responsible for these discrepancies. The blame ultimately lies with Betsoft Gaming as they are the ones programming and selling these games. However we do hope that with the publication of this information, casinos will do the responsible thing and remove all Betsoft games until they are adequately tested, audited, and fixed, and until such time as Jason is paid the jackpot that he should have won on The Glam Life slot machine.
|Betsoft RNG audit certificate, February 2015