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Do casinos pay out more (or less) when they're busy (or slow)?18 October 2008
Yes, I hope I can shed some light on the subject.
The number of people in the casino has no effect whatsoever on how much the casino pays out. But other things related to the number of people in the casino may give the impression that there is a relationship.
Some people claim that casinos pay out more when the casino is crowded. As they walk the aisles in search of their next machine, they see many players hitting. They therefore conclude that the machines hit more frequently when the casino is crowded.
They should really look deeper and see if there's a more logical reason for why they see more players hitting. There is a simpler reason than looser machines. The mere fact that more people are playing at the time means that there will be more players hitting.
But you said that the machines were not paying out and no customers were at the cage when the casino was jam-packed. When the casino is crowded, we'd expect it to be fully staffed and all cage windows to be open, thereby reducing the mean waiting time for patrons needing cage services. That could be a simpler reason for why you didn't see any patrons at the cage.
Now, even if the casino could make the machines pay out less when the casino is crowded, would that necessarily mean that no patrons would need the cage? Would more players go broke and therefore not need to redeem a ticket, or would those players just hit their loss limits sooner or lose more money and still need to redeem tickets, albeit of lesser value? Tighter machines do not necessarily result in a significant decrease in patrons at the cage.
You wrote that some casinos payout when they're crowded, and others pay out when they're slow. I think if you kept careful track of your impressions, you'd find that there is no pattern in the casinos. Each casino will sometimes pay out when it's crowded and sometimes pay out when it's slow. There's no pattern because the results of each spin or hand on a machine is determined at random, without any regard for the number of patrons in the casino.
Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.
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