Average Daily Theoretical (ADT): What it Means for Players

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Brian Christopher thinking

As players, we go to the casino, we play for some period of time, and we go home. Then we get offers in the mail. These offers are calculated based on the play we did at the casino, oftentimes rolling up some number of trips over a window of time.

Some players get confused about how this works and what is ultimately important. The most common thing we hear is “I go to the casino all the time, but my friend who doesn’t go often gets treated better.”

The core calculation that goes into determining offers and other factors like who gets a host comes down to a term called Average Daily Theoretical, or ADT. The basic concept is that based on the games you’re playing (and their house advantage), how long you play, and what your bet is, they’ll calculate how much they would, on average, expect you to have spent, and will base your offers on that.

Casinos don’t factor in actual losses, so this is why a player who does a single $1,000 bet on black on roulette, and loses, won’t be treated the same as a slot player who plays $2.50 bets for four hours. 

The reason is the expected amount the casino will win over all those $2.50 bets is higher than the expected win of about $50 on that single bet (because the casino’s advantage is a bit over 5 percent on any bet on an American Roulette (00) table.

There are often times than we’ll lose more than the expected amount, and times when we’ll win despite being expected to lose a certain amount, based on the math. This is why casinos will tend to prefer looking at the expected losses, as it will eventually average out over enough players and time.

The exception might be a massive player who just has a really, really bad run. Even then, the amount they would comp on actual losses is going to be less than the theoretical loss, so a player would have to be massively off from the norm, and still have played enough even then.

So, back to that example of players who visit often vs. the one who doesn’t. When a player visits a lot, they may spread their budget more thinly to make those visits possible. A player who doesn’t go as often may have more to work with because they simply don’t go that often. 

A player visiting multiple times a week with a $100 budget may spend the same amount as a player that goes once a month with $1,000. But to the casino, the average for the $100 a visit player is $100, and the player visiting once a month with $1,000 would be much higher, and the comps to get that person to return would be much more generous.

It goes beyond the average budget, because more frequent visitors are hard to get to come even more, whereas the occasional visitor will be quite valuable, particularly at that higher budget, if they can just get one more visit. The occasional visitor isn’t eating as many meals or taking as many hotel room nights, and so on. This is why ADT factors in so heavily.

It’s not a perfect calculation for a variety of reasons, but it has been workable enough for casinos to make it the workhorse calculation for comps for a long time.

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