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Random Number Generator (RNG)

Random number generator – refers to the process during which a random number generator (RNG) generates a sequence that cannot be reasonably predicted beforehand. The simplest example of an RNG is throwing a dice multiple time in a row. One can simply not predict beforehand what the results will be of throwing a dice multiple times in a row. Therefore, this simple act creates a randomly generated sequence of numbers. Though the previous example is an analogue manifestation of an RNG, the process is mostly applied digitally, for example in online casino games, videogames and statistics. 

Different types of RNGs

RNGs are therefore fundamental tools for generating unpredictable and unbiased sequences and essential components of many cryptographic systems. Like the aforementioned example indicates, there are multiple types of RNG, which each have unique characteristics. Generally speaking, two types of random number generation: physical RNGs and software RNGs. As the name suggests, hardware RNGS use physical devices such as thermal noise to generate the random sequence.[1] Software RNGs on the other hand use mathematical algorithms, which can be done in a multitude of ways. The complexity of the sequence completely depends on the underlying algorithm.[2]

RNG in iGaming

A prime example of the application of RNGs are in the sphere of iGaming. The outcome of online casino games needs to be decided by elements of chance that cannot be predicted by players beforehand. For example, one can play multiple rounds on an online slot machine, every time the player pulls the digital lever, a RNG needs to randomly process an outcome of that game round. In order to protect the integrity of online casino games, many regulators have legally obliged operators to incorporate RNGs in their online casino games. By incorporating an RNG in online casino games fraud and misuse of online of casino games can be prevented.

Although RNGs in video games are less noticeable, they still play a crucial role. RNGs are, for example, used to generate the content of loot boxes, random accounts and decide the weather. Therefore, random number generation is an important application in open world games, as it is impossible for developers to code every aspect of an open world game.[3] The videogame No Man’s Sky, developed by Hello Games, uses complex random number generation algorithms to generate endless different planets and universes[4].


[1] Schindler W and Killmann W, ‘Evaluation Criteria for True (Physical) Random Number Generators Used in Cryptographic Applications’ [2003] Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems – CHES 2002 431

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[2] ‘RNG in Igaming’ (nuxgame.com, 13 March 2024) <https://nuxgame.com/blog/guides/RNG-in-iGaming> accessed 26 March 2024

[3] Magoni I, ‘RNG Meaning – What Does RNG Stand for in Gaming?’ (freeCodeCamp.org, 15 September 2021) <https://www.freecodecamp.org/news/rng-meaning-what-does-rng-stand-for-in-gaming/> accessed 26 March 2024

[4] Maessen L, ‘Menselijke Creativiteit Blijft Essentieel: “Als Je Ai Games Laat Ontwerpen Dan Krijg Je Eenheidsworst”’ (NRC. 4 March 2024) <https://www.nrc.nl/nieuws/2024/03/04/menselijke-creativiteit-blijft-essentieel-als-je-ai-games-laat-ontwerpen-dan-krijg-je-eenheidsworst-a4191985?t=1711487895> accessed 26 March 2024

Author

  • Stef van der Veldt

    Stef van der Veldt (26) is attorney at law at Vissers Legal, located in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands, and specializes in (online) gaming/gambling and sports law. In this capacity he represents multiple (international) gambling operators active on the Dutch market. In 2021 the Dutch legislator legalized the online gambling market, subject to strict licensing conditions. On a daily basis he liaises with current and aspiring licensees and assists them on a wide array of topics. During his academic studies at Tilburg University (LLB Global Law, LLM International Business Law and LLM Dutch Company Law) he developed an affinity for sports law and the sports industry. As a team player of the sports law department of Vissers Legal he works closely together with multiple stakeholders in the professional sports industry, including athletes, organizations, marketeers etc. The esports industry has caught his particular interest due to the fact that the industry is developing very rapidly, requiring all stakeholders to be versatile and attentive.

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