All around the United States, regional casinos continue popping up and creating a more-competitive gaming market. This is especially true in New England, where many casino operators are doing what they can to distance themselves from the competition. Lucky for slots players, this includes offering some the highest payout percentages in the area’s history.
Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resorts has slots that are paying out an average of 91.98 percent (best in 20 years), Rhode Island’s Twin Rivers is paying out 91.87 percent (best in 11 years) and Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun is delivering 91.79 percent payback (best in 5 years).
As New England casinos battle to attract/retain more customers, it’s clear that the competition has raised slots payback.
“We always monitor payout percentages to ensure that we stay competitive in the market,” Bobby Soper, president of Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, told the Boston Globe. “We obviously look at what competitors are doing.”
Even casinos that have only been open for a short time are already trying to match their competitors and keep up in the race to keep slots players happy. Plainridge Park Casino, which, in June, became the first casino to open in Massachusetts, has already increased their payout percentages from 90.07 percent to 91.43 percent.
In Plainridge Park’s case, the boosted slots payback means that players will win about $2.5 million more each month. Going further, that translates into $27 million less in annual revenue and $13 million less for Massachusetts’ government (based on 49 percent taxes). But for the sake of keeping players on the reels and away from other casinos, Plainridge and other venues can’t afford to offer lower payouts.
Clyde W. Barrow, a University of Texas professor who spoke with the Boston Globe, says that his research indicates players are much more likely to return when it takes longer to lose their money.
“You lose $100 in 30 minutes and you are not happy. You lose $100 in three hours then, well, OK, you think of it as having had a good time,” Barrow explained. “It doesn’t mean people are winning more, it means it is taking them longer to lose.”
The New England casino market only figures to get more crowded in the future, so it’ll be interesting to see if slots payback continues rising in the area.