Is the casino allowed to manipulate the odds / payouts of a particular slot machine tailored to the specific individual playing it?
Casinos, especially those in hotels, resorts, and cruise ships, will give their guests a card that’s their room key, “resort pass”, charge card, etc. Players are encouraged to swipe it at the slot machine they’re playing. Often there’s a premium offered for certain behavior, a giveaway or freebie for playing one hour, a better giveaway for playing two hours in a row, etc.
Now the casino can track the behavior of an individual, and over time can likely build a reasonable profile with that data. How long do they play at a stretch? Do they bet the maximum, minimum, or something in between? Is there a threshold at which this person stops playing if they feel they’re “losing”? How much of a payout does it take for them to feel like they’re “winning” and keep pumping in quarters? Does this person react better (i.e. keep playing) with frequent, small payouts? Or with less frequent, larger payouts?
Are slot machines stand-alone, individual, discrete units? Or are they simply terminals of a larger network? I suspect the latter. And if they’re terminals of a network, then they can be told to do whatever the network, i.e. the casino, tells them to do. Right?
(These numbers are just for illustrative purposes, I’m pulling them out of my hat so they’re likely not representative of the real world but serve to illustrate my question.) For Player A the casino finds that if they get $0.80 back for every $1.00 they put in they think they’re “winning” and will keep playing, but will walk at any less. Player B is a zombie who just keeps feeding it quarters and never notices that they’re only getting $0.60 back for every $1.00 they put in. Why give B $0.80 if the casino can get away with giving them $0.60? And letting A continue to play at $0.80 brings more revenue than A not playing at all, which they will do at $0.60, so why not give them payouts of $0.80 per $1.00?
Player C is just in it for the freebie. They play an hour, get their free steak dinner, then stop. Why give them $0.80 per $1.00? Heck, they’re only betting the minimum anyway, give them $0.50. And be sure they don’t win any jackpots because they’re not likely to put it back in the machine anyway.
Player D had a dinner reservation at 6:00, paid their bill at 7:30, and has tickets for a show at 8:00. The resort knows all this because they’re all booked and paid with the “resort pass”. Now they’re at a slot machine, obviously killing time before they show. Again… they’re probably going to play for a half hour regardless of the outcome, so why give them a larger payout?
A particular section of the slots is getting lethargic, players are slowing down, it needs some excitement to pick up the pace. Player E has been drinking moderately (even the ‘free’ drinks are tracked) and their profile suggests they’ll continue to play even when they win big. They’d be a good candidate for flashing lights, bells, some hoop-la, they’ll celebrate, and hopefully encourage other players nearby to continue to player (or play faster, or bet higher, etc.). So the casino directs their machine to give them a relatively big payout. An hour or so later a different part of the floor needs some spectacle, Player F fits the profile, time for a win.
Casinos know the player, know which machine they’re at, and can control the machines in real time. Right? So why don’t they manipulate them as I’ve described here in order to keep people playing? Do they or don’t they? And are there any laws regarding whether or not they’re allowed to?