Back in late January 2018, one of the players voiced his concerns on the Casinomeister forum that the demo mode of the Thunder Bird slot produced by GameArt was giving out too big winnings. $500 turned into $100,000 in half an hour of free play, with bets ranging from $10 to $40.
The game was played on the VideoSlots website, and the casino immediately responded to the message, replying that the RTP of the demo mode and the regular mode was the same. The player indicated that he played in demo mode several times and almost always enjoyed big winnings. This was due to the unusually frequent launch of the bonus game.
You can find the real payout ratio for all slots on the VideoSlots website, which is updated every day. The player noticed that the actual payout ratio for Thunder Bird was indicated on the operator’s website. In other words, the payouts were standard in the game for real money, but too high in the demo mode. It must be noted that the demo mode RTP can never differ from the real mode RTP – otherwise, players will have false expectations.
VideoSlots contacted the developer from the very beginning and received an official response that the demo mode was no different.
Development of events
Once the first player expressed his assumptions, other users began to conduct similar experiments. Most of them drew similar conclusions. At the same time, the results were compared with the game for real money, and they significantly differed.
The new facts made VideoSlots consider the need for a more thorough investigation. What do you think happened next? GameArt had to admit that the actual RTP of the demo mode and the game for real money were different. The developer’s confession was announced on February 22, 2018 – about a month after the start of the investigation. You can see a message from VideoSlots in the screenshot below:
MGA announced it had nothing to do with GameArt
Later, the developer’s reputation worsened after an announcement from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). A screenshot of the statement is provided below.
We don’t know what was on the developer’s website before, but 2 weeks after the Maltese regulator’s statement, GameArt did not provide any links to MGA. Perhaps this information had been there before the revealing statement was published. Some resources claim that GameArt is licensed by the MGA, so there are reasons to believe that this license was actually mentioned on the developer’s website earlier.
GameArt is not a super recognizable brand, and their games are not top class. It would seem to be easy to give it up. However, even despite such incidents, when the fraud with demo games is exposed, GameArt continues to conclude new contracts and actively release new slots.
For example, the vendor announced a contract with iSoftBet and Betaland on April 16. Moreover, they even received the Best Digital Company of the Year award according to MiGEA (Malta iGaming Excellence Awards) on June 5.
One thing remains unclear – why nobody heard that the developer was punished. The only punishment the developer received was that some websites stopped offering their slots. For example, the GameArt website lists licenses from Curacao, Italy and the Philippines at the moment. Either these jurisdictions do not care about this deception, or there will be statements from them in the future that they never issued a license to the developer.
To VideoSlots’ credit, they did not leave it just like that and discovered the truth. Moreover, they published this truth instead of concealing it – well done!