Return to player (RTP) determines how much a slot pays out in the long run. You can use RTP to assess your chances of winning with any given game.
The great thing about online slots is that most of them feature publicly available payback. All you need to do is Google the game name along with the word RTP to find out how much it pays.
Here’s an example:
I’m playing Rival Gaming’s Arabian Tales
I Google “Arabian Tales slot RTP”
This game offers 95.0% RTP
You can’t find the same such information with land-based slot machines. You instead need to make vague estimates on payout percentages based on coin denominations (i.e., higher denominations usually pay more).
The same info for online slots, in contrast, is usually available because most developers offer the same RTP for a given game across all casinos they supply.
Unfortunately, you can’t find payout percentages for internet slots from certain developers.
Realtime Gaming (RTG), which serves many US-friendly casinos, is a perfect example.
You can Google all you want, but you won’t find reliable payback information on RTG slots. Why is this the case?
I’m going to answer this question later and discuss if you can trust RTG games. But first, I’ll start out by covering the company itself.
Introduction to Realtime Gaming
Realtime Gaming is one of the oldest software developers in the online casino industry. They launched in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1998 and started producing slots and table games for internet casinos.
They continued in this fashion until 2007 when they fretted legal developments in the US at the time. In October 2006, Congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which targeted the payment sector of offshore online casinos.
Hastings International acquired the company in January 2007 and moved it to Curacao, which issues online gaming licenses.
RTG has since continued to be one of the most popular software developers in the gaming world. They supply a wide range of online casinos and also offer turnkey solutions for sites that need help in every facet — from games to customer support.
The Reason Why RTP Isn’t Available for RTG Slots
Most gaming software developers freely offer RTP for each of their games. You can typically find payout percentage for any online game you’re playing within seconds through a Google search.
Realtime Gaming, on the other hand, isn’t transparent on the matter. You can’t find the RTP for a single one of their slots.
Instead, you’ll merely find a range of different answers, including 91%, 95%, or 97.5% RTP. What’s up with all these different numbers? Is RTG trying to rip you off?
Realtime Gaming isn’t hiding anything with these various payback figures. Furthermore, they aren’t looking to cheat you through a lack of transparency.
They instead allow their online casino customers to choose between different paybacks.
The available options include 91%, 95%, or 97.5%, which is why you’ll see these three different figures listed for the same game.
RTG doesn’t offer a uniform payout percentage for each slot. One of their games could feature 91% RTP at one casino and 97.5% RTP at another.
They can’t just say that Bubble Bubble 2, for example, has X payback. This would be lying, considering that the RTP can be different from site to site.
Realtime Gaming actually does the same thing that land-based slot providers do. These developers also let brick-and-mortar casinos choose what payback schedule they want. This is the reason why you can’t find RTP figures for land-based slot machines.
It would be great if RTG fell in line with the rest of the online gaming industry. But this practice isn’t totally crazy when considering that a few other internet gaming software developers do the same thing.
Controversy Surrounding RTG Progressive Jackpots
You can see that there’s a valid reason behind why RTG doesn’t offer publicly available payout percentages. They aren’t hiding anything or trying to scam players in this regard.
Nevertheless, some gamblers are still leery of RTG slots due to their progressive jackpots. Going further, some question whether the biggest jackpots are programmed to pay at all.
Aztec’s Millions currently offers a $3.12 million jackpot that’s never been won in its ten-year existence.
Similarly, both (Jackpot) Cleopatra’s Gold and Jackpot Piñatas have yet to pay their six-figure prizes.
You might think that the lack of wins with these jackpots is due to their sheer size. However, similar prizes from other developers like Playtech and Microgaming have been won multiple times.
RTG has also dealt with confirmed controversy regarding a Caribbean 21 jackpot. A player hit a $1.3 million jackpot in 2004, only to win another $96,000 prize later through RTG.
Rather than paying the wins, the company claimed that this gambler used a bot (AI program) to beat their Caribbean 21 game. They eventually made a private settlement with the player and later removed the game from their offerings.
Realtime Gaming has also drawn some heat over their willingness to serve rogue casinos and ownership groups.
The worst known example is when they supplied software to the Crystal Palace group, which became synonymous with bad customer service and bonus abuse.
The owner, Warren Cloud, died of a heart attack in July 2008 while sailing his yacht near Ibiza. The Crystal Palace Group was subsequently sold afterward. Nevertheless, RTG still bears a black mark for willingly serving their casinos over a decade ago.
Is RTG a Trustworthy Operation?
Taking everything here into account, you may wonder if RTG can be trusted. After all, they don’t offer public slots RTP, and there are questions surrounding their progressive jackpots and casino clients.
Personally, I feel that you can at least trust their range of payout percentages. This operation has been in business for over two decades and would’ve likely been exposed if they were outright scamming customers.
Online gamblers have turned out to be pretty good detectives over the years. I don’t see any scenario where RTG gets away with ripping players off for over two decades.
The lack of big progressive jackpot wins is somewhat strange. It’s also disheartening that you have no idea of the exact payback of each game.
However, Realtime isn’t the first software developer to have a jackpot controversy. In fact, such incidents have happened to other big-name providers too.
On the other hand, RTG isn’t the industry’s most reputable provider. Their name has taken a hit due to rogue casinos they’ve served over the years.
To sum up my thoughts on RTG, I’m personally not scared to play their online slots. But I don’t put much stock into their big progressive jackpot games either.
Why Are RTG Slots So Popular?
Given the lack of RTP figures and jackpots that rarely hit, RTG seems like an odd pick to have two decades of success in online gaming. What’s the secret behind their longevity?
A big reason why they’ve done so well is their willingness to serve the US market.
Realtime Gaming is one of the few options that Americans have.
They provide software to a lot of US-friendly internet casinos. RTG also has a complete package deal for any companies that are looking for a turnkey solution.
The latter is why many Realtime casinos have the same look and promotions. RTG provides plenty of services for these gaming sites.
Besides serving America, RTG also excels because they produce fun slots. Their games may not draw as high of marks as those produced by Big Time Gaming, Microgaming, and NetEnt. However, they still do a good job of creating slots that people enjoy playing.
Some of RTG’s biggest hits include:
Naughty or Nice
Should You Only Play Slots With Publicly Available RTP?
You may already be hesitant to trust online slots. Trusting those that don’t publish uniform RTP is even harder.
Whether or not you play games without clear RTP figures all depends upon your confidence in a software outfit.
I’m personally confident that the majority of software providers wouldn’t think of rigging a game.
They fully understand that their reputation and business would be destroyed if they were caught doing so.
Amigotechs has been exposed for running faulty video poker games — whether purposely or accidentally — on two occasions. They’ve lost many players’ trust as a result.
Any provider that doesn’t publish RTP figures is following suit with Realtime, where they allow clients to choose. They’re probably not, however, trying to hide anything from players.
But then again, most developers offer uniform payback for all of their games. These providers inspire more confidence because gamblers know exactly what to expect.
You should consider sticking with slots that you can find the RTP for. This way, you always know your long-term chances of winning.
If you find one or more slots that you like from a provider such as RTG, though, then there’s no harm in playing them. Just because the RTP isn’t public information doesn’t mean that you’re going to get ripped off.
Realtime Gaming has been around since 1998. They’ve produced hundreds of games in their existence and have become one of the biggest names in casino gaming.
Before checking out this post, you may have been puzzled as to why RTG doesn’t publish normal payback like everybody else.
It’s because they let casino operators choose payout percentages for each game. One casino may have Coyote Cash at 91% RTP while another has it at 95.0% payback.
The fact that you never know the payback for RTG slots isn’t ideal. But you can at least be fairly certain that each game offers between 91% and 97.5% RTP.
The big question remains if you want to play slots like this when so many other developers do offer payback figures. Knowing the RTP, rather than having to guess, is always preferable.
Nevertheless, RTG does have some pretty good slots. You might still be interested in their games, despite the unknown payout percentages.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
The information found on Gamblingsites.org is for entertainment purposes only. It is a purely informational website that does not accept wagers of any kind. Although certain pages within Gamblingsites.org feature or promote other online websites where users are able to place wagers, we encourage all visitors to confirm the wagering and/or gambling regulations that are applicable in their local jurisdiction (as gambling laws may vary in different states, countries and provinces).
Gamblingsites.org uses affiliates links from some of the sportsbooks/casinos it promotes and reviews, and we may receive compensation from those particular sportsbooks/casinos in certain circumstances. Gamblingsites.org does not promote or endorse any form of wagering or gambling to users under the age of 18. If you believe you have a gambling problem, please visit BeGambleAware or GAMCARE for information and help.