Here’s Bad News: Slot Machines are paying Less Now than Ever

ohio-casino-slotsThe goal when playing slots is definitely to find the games with the highest payback. Unfortunately, according to a recent report, this is getting harder than ever.

The Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM) reports that land-based casinos have been lowering slots payback for the past decade, with 2014 seeing a new low.

AGEM’s findings stem from looking at slots data from 16 casinos across 12 states. What they discovered is that 12 of the casinos increased their profits from slot machines last year. Spanning a decade, casinos have collectively boosted their slots profits by 14.5%.

So why are Slots getting More Expensive?

From AGEM’s perspective, the reason why slot machines are getting tighter is because casinos are buying more-expensive, highly detailed slots that feature better graphics and extra frills. Plus more gamemakers license themes from comic franchises and movie studios, which is also expensive.

“Higher costs are passed on [to] the consumer, and the consumer in this situation is the player,” said Alan Silver, an assistant professor at Ohio University and casino expert who spoke to the Toledo Blade.

Amenities must also be considered

If players want to play slots as cheaply as possible, then they should stick to online slots, which typically offer better payout percentages. However, there’s also the experience factor that must be considered, which Bob Tenenbaum, a spokesman for the casino giant Penn National Gaming Inc., pointed out.

“Some people think that’s (payout percentage) the only factor in where people go,” said Tenenbaum. “We think the kind of atmosphere and the amenities you offer are also an important factor. It’s a question of balancing business versus competitive considerations.”

Unfortunately it doesn’t look like land-based slot machines will be any cheaper to play in the near future. But they still figure to attract many players who enjoy the experience that brick-and-mortar casinos have to offer.