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The truth about GTA 5 slot machines

In case you missed it, a recent update to GTA Online added a whole new area to the game's world called the Diamond Casino & Resort. And in the casino, you'll find your usual table games, horse races, and, of course, slot machines. But something's off about the slot machines in GTA 5's Grand Theft Auto Online.

Is it that the slot machines are overly kind and are just handing out free money to whoever pulls the lever? Are the slot machines constructed entirely from chocolate and we're only noticing now? Do the slot machines warp in and out, as though they're caught between two dimensions? None of those, it turns out, are correct.

Here's the truth: GTA Online's slot machines are screwing players while lining the pockets of the NPCs. But sometimes the truth is complicated.

The discovery was made by PC Gamer's Christopher Livingston, who noticed while playing slots that all of the non-playable characters (NPCs) around him seemed to be winning. A lot. Meanwhile, Livingston was regularly sinking tens of thousands of dollars into the slot machines and coming away empty handed. This shouldn't come as a total surprise: the NPCs aren't real people, so the game can rig the odds in their favor to whatever degree it wishes. The act isn't really harming anyone, unless you believe all characters in the game should be treated fairly. In which case...

Non-playable characters can die in GTA 5 and GTA Online from what, one or two bullets? Meanwhile, you can tank quite a few during a gunfight, and then walk away later as if nothing happened. That doesn't seem entirely fair either. Maybe the NPCs should organize a protest.

To be fair, the PC Gamer article reads more like a joke than anything. And Livingston "learns" at the end that he can dress himself up like a regular nobody at the casino to experience better luck. But that's the extent to which the game is actively cheating players. You, as the player, have worse odds than all of the pretend people sitting around you.

It's not a scam of any kind. It's video games.