What are vlts?

Video Lottery Terminals (vlts) are electronic gaming machines that are generally placed in bars, lounges, or similar venues in Alberta. They vary from slot machines in the betting and game style, maximum awards and redemption process. They also have some different player features that include players must set a pre-determined time limit on the machine and players may only put a maximum of $100 into the machine during play. Both types of machines remind players that help is available if gambling is affecting their life in a negative way.

Commonly asked questions about vlts

How do vlts work?

  • vlts are based on the concept of randomness, which means that the outcome is not predictable.
  • Each time the “play” button is pressed, it is an independent event; meaning the chances of a specific outcome remain the same and are not influenced by previous events.
  • vlts are tested and approved by an independent gaming laboratory and must meet stringent technical and operating standards, including verification of the payout percentage, before reaching gaming floors.

Who has the advantage?

  • Like all forms of gambling, the odds always favour the house. The more money a player wagers, the more money a player may lose.
  • For vlts, the average house advantage is 8 per cent

I've heard many terms used to calculate money played on vlts - which is the right one?

There is no right or wrong term. You just need to know they have different meanings.

  • Credits played less credits won is used to determine revenue as it is more representative of the actual transactions taking place during each play. Ultimately, what a player walks away with in winnings depends on their behaviour – such as how long they played or how much money they put in.
  • The prize payout percentage is the rate a terminal is set to pay out. In Alberta, this percentage is verified by an independent lab for the AGLC. vlts are programmed to return to the player, on average, 92 per cent of all money wagered. For example, if you wager $100, your average winnings may be $92 ($100 x 92% = $92)
  • The ratio of cash in to cash out simply measures each dollar that is put in a terminal to what is taken out.

Where can I learn more?

More information on vlts is available in our brochures