Taking a gamble

“One-armed bandits” have become highly technical games thanks in part to two S&T alumni. Charles Berg and Robert Miodunski both hold patents in the casino gaming industry.

OneArmedBanditBerg, EE’74, patented features on a Family Feud-themed slot machine, including capturing the player’s photo and incorporating it into the game, and using a database of audience participation for a question-and-answer round. Miodunski, ME’72, patented a cardless player-tracking system that lets users log on instead of inserting an ID card. He also developed controlled payout systems with advanced security.

Their advice to would-be gamblers?

“Every outcome really is random — there is no ‘hot’ machine, just good random number generators,” says Berg.

“Consider your money spent on entertainment,” says Miodunski. “Don’t go to win, because the odds aren’t in your favor.”

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