When Connecticut's two casinos opened in the early 90s, they did so by reaching an agreement with the State of Connecticut to pay the state 25 percent of their monthly slot revenues.
As a result, both Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods must report their total slot earnings to the state each month. In December 2010, Foxwoods earned $45 million on its slot machines, an increase of 1.2 percent over December 2009.
In reporting its numbers, Mohegan Sun actually revealed some interesting information some gamblers might want to pay attention to.
Overall in December, $673,412,991 went through Mohegan's slot machines. It's a staggering number, referred to as the handle, by casinos. But Mohegan Sun only kept 7.94 percent of that total amount. That means more than 92 percent went back to gamblers.
What may be even more valuable information to the millions of people who drop dollars into those ringing, buzzing and screeching machines is that Mohegan Sun also breaks down which machines actually give gamblers the best odds at winning.
The casino has 6,404 slot machines scattered throughout it's sprawling gaming floors, and as most gamblers know, you can toss your money into those machines in many different denominations. But what the casino's December numbers show is that some of the "cheapest" slot machines, actually have the worst odds for patrons.
For example, Mohegan Sun kept 11 percent of all of the money that went into its penny slot machines, with 89 percent returned to the players. That must be why the casino has more penny slots, 2,532 machines, than any other type. Not surprisingly, the majority of Mohegan Sun's slot revenue comes from these penny slots. Nickel slot machines took 12 percent, and give back 88 percent in December.
On the other side of the scale, the casino's $2 slots kept just 2.03 percent of the money that went in, giving back just under 98 percent to gamblers. The best deal for players, if you can afford it, was the casino's $10 slot machines, which kept a minuscule 1.77 percent of the money put into them, returning 99.23 percent to those spending their hard-earned cash.
In the middle were the casino's quarter slots, which returned more than 91 percent of the money put in back to patrons, and the $1 machines gave back more than 93 percent to gamblers.
But for those who want to play those machines, their best bet may be to play Mohegan Sun's multi-denomination slots. Those are machines on which a player can choose to bet in different amounts. In December, they returned 95 percent of the money that went into them. So gamblers had better odds dumping quarters into a multi-denomination machine, than playing those same coins on the quarter slots.