Do Casinos Adjust Payouts During Big Events?

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row of slot machines

The array of scenarios we get about whether casinos change payouts for x or y is broad. Here’s one we had never heard before receiving it from a player recently:

If you are at a casino where there is an event being hosted, let’s say like a concert either free or paid. Does that change your chances at winning (machines tighter) or is it still just a timing thing?

Lisa M.

It’s still timing – casinos make enough money off of slots to let it roll in any scenario and not need to make any changes.

In fact, the changes may not even be worth it. Some casinos require supervision when key changes like these are made. Some need to have the gaming commission present. Or they need to keep track of changes via documentation for auditing. All of this takes time, manpower and money.

How much would they make tightening the slots? Let’s look at a state like New York, which reports the numbers in ways that make this a bit more illustrative. 

Let’s take Resorts World Catskills, a casino in New York. In the 2022/2023 fiscal year, the average machine made $202 per day and paid back to players approximately 91 percent (we’re rounding just for simpler math). 

If they were to lower overall payouts to 90 percent, that would, in the long term, raise the average payback by about $22.50 per slot per day. They’ve got about 1,600 machines, so that’d potentially boost their take by about $36,000. It sounds like a lot, until you see that in that fiscal year they made roughly $148 million on slots alone – it’s a drop in the bucket.

Now, think about the time, money and manpower to do this. And then think about the fact that one player happening to win a big jackpot – say, $50,000 – could erase all the extra money that effort would yield and then some.

Short term results can swing in either direction – changing the payouts around based on what’s happening on site isn’t something casinos do because it’s all about the long term results – day after day, that $202 per machine per day, that adds up to the $148 million.

Rest assured, the payouts will be the same as any other time you visit.


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