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Best of John Robison

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Have casinos cut their slot paybacks?

24 January 2009

John:

Just wondering, I live in CT and keep reading about all the economic troubles at the state's two casinos. Is there a chance in the present economic climate that the casinos can adjust the slot payouts to keep more money for the house since less people seem to be playing, and revenue is allegedly falling dramatically?

db

Dear db,

Is there a chance? Yes.

Are the casinos doing it? Probably not.

To change long-term paybacks on today's machines, the casinos have to change a chip in them. In order to do this, the casino has to shut down the machine for a period of time and schedule a slot technician to change the chip. It may even have to coordinate with the local gaming commission to witness the change, if not even have a representative of the commission actually make the change. The casino also has to purchase the chip with the new virtual reel layout and file paperwork with the gaming commission notifying them of the change.

It's expensive and time-consuming to change paybacks on machines.

Finally, isn't increasing the house edge against players during slow times counter-productive? Fewer players are playing less money, so the casino wants to earn more money from them (that is, make them lose more), which will only make the players play less frequently and bet less money.

Best of luck in and out of the casinos,
John


Send your slot and video poker questions to John Robison, Slot Expert, at slotexpert@comcast.net. Because of the volume of mail I receive, I regret that I can't reply to every question.

John Robison

John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots
John Robison
John Robison is an expert on slot machines and how to play them. John is a slot and video poker columnist and has written for many of gaming’s leading publications. He holds a master's degree in computer science from the prestigious Stevens Institute of Technology.

You may hear John give his slot and video poker tips live on The Good Times Show, hosted by Rudi Schiffer and Mike Schiffer, which is broadcast from Memphis on KXIQ 1180AM Friday afternoon from from 2PM to 5PM Central Time. John is on the show from 4:30 to 5. You can listen to archives of the show on the web anytime.

Books by John Robison:

The Slot Expert's Guide to Playing Slots