Slot Payouts at Casinos Around the Country - NBC Connecticut

Slot Payouts at Casinos Around the Country

How do Connecticut’s casinos stack up against casinos in other states?

(Published Tuesday, July 7, 2015)

Those of us who try our luck on the slots at Foxwoods or Mohegan Sun hope the next pull of the lever will be life changing. But what are the odds you’ll really walk away with cash?

Connecticut’s two tribal casinos rank in the middle of the pack in terms of slot payouts when compared with other states around the country.

According to the Connecticut Gaming Commission, Foxwoods' slot payout average is 91.85 percent. Mohegan Sun pays back at a rate of 91.71 percent. That means Connecticut has the eighth-highest payout rate of the 20 states requiring casinos to report.

The best payout percentage by state is in neighboring New York. The Empire State, with its nine reporting casinos, pays back 93.75 percent. Resorts World in Queens, New York, pays the highest returns, at 95.05 percent.

The second state by average is Nevada, at 93.54 percent. West Virginia is at the bottom of the list, with an average of 89.12 percent payback.

  1. NEW YORK – 93.75 percent
  2. NEVADA – 93.54 percent
  3. COLORADO – 92.85 percent
  4. MISSISSIPPI – 92.77 percent
  5. FLORIDA – 92.46 percent
  6. DELAWARE – 92.36 percent
  7. **KENTUCKY– 92.06 percent
  8. *CONNECTICUT – 91.77 percent
  9. NEW JERSEY – 91.41 percent
  10. SOUTH DAKOTA – 91.36 percent
  11. ILLINOIS – 91.00 percent
  12. RHODE ISLAND – 90.88 percent
  13. LOUISIANA – 90.74 percent
  14. INDIANA – 90.71 percent
  15. IOWA – 90.69 percent
  16. MAINE – 90.68 percent
  17. MISSOURI – 90.64 percent
  18. OHIO – 90.34 percent
  19. PENNSYLVANIA – 90.16 percent
  20. WEST VIRGINIA – 89.72 percent

Percentages for include slots, blackjack, keno and video poker unless otherwise noted.
*Only slot machines
**Historical Horse Wagering

It’s not an exact science. Most states include video poker, Keno and video blackjack in their percentages, which tend to give better odds. Connecticut is the only state to include only slots. States like Nevada and Louisiana report area averages, not individual casinos. Other states, like New York and Florida, exempt tribes from reporting.

The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters sorted through slot revenue reports submitted to gaming, lottery and racing commissions for all reporting states. The Troubleshooters found that the areas with more competition tend to pay out higher averages.

Also, the lower the denomination, the lower the payback. Penny slots at both Connecticut casinos pay lower than 90 percent and receive almost half the total money wagered. The highest payouts at Foxwoods are the multi-denomination machines. They pay out 95.77 percent. Mohegan Sun’s $10 machines return 96.96 percent.

Foxwoods: July 2014 - May 2015

  • $0.01: 89.34 percent
  • $0.02: 90.83 percent
  • $0.05: 90.40 percent
  • $0.25: 92.06 percent
  • $0.50: 91.47 percent
  • $1.00: 93.50 percent
  • $2.00: 93.34 percent
  • $5.00: 93.96 percent
  • $10.00: 94.70 percent
  • $25.00: 94.25 percent
  • $100.00: 95.56 percent
  • Multi-Denomination: 95.77 percent
  • Total: 91.85 percent

Mohegan Sun: July 2014 - May 2015

  • $0.0025: 85.84 percent
  • $0.005: 85.45 percent
  • $0.01: 88.93 percent
  • $0.02: 89.21 percent
  • $0.05: 88.39 percent
  • $0.25: 91.64 percent
  • $0.50: 91.94 percent
  • $1.00: 93.04 percent
  • $2.00: 96.62 percent
  • $5.00: 93.82 percent
  • $10.00: 96.96 percent
  • $25.00: 95.38 percent
  • $100.00: 93.85 percent
  • Multi-Denomination: 95.19 percent
  • Total: 91.71 percent

Mohegan Sun president Bobby Soper argues his casino is as competitive as any around the country. He points out the economy and amount of free play credits they give to entice bettors plays a big part in keeping them from being even higher on the list.

"There are certainly a higher percentage of penny machines and nickel machines than previous," said Soper. "That across the board, across the industry is going to drive hold percentage."

This investigation comes at a time when Connecticut is exploring the option of allowing Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun to jointly operate a third state casino, off tribal land, north of Hartford.

Locations being considered include the Enfield Square Mall, the Bradley Off-Track Betting property in Windsor Locks and the former Showcase Cinemas property in East Windsor.

The legislature approved the right for tribes to consider proposals from towns willing to host a satellite casino. Soper expects its cost could save thousands of jobs in the state and cost close to $300 million. It will include slots, table games and a poker room.

Soper hopes to see it as close to the Connecticut border as possible. Just 5 miles from the border, MGM is building a $1 billion resort casino in Springfield. A spokesman for MGM estimates its slot payouts will be in the mid-90 percent.

State Sen. John Kissel believes casino expansion is bad policy. He argues a casino in his area of North Central Connecticut will not stop people, especially high-end gamblers, from traveling to Springfield.

"They’re aware of payouts and they’re going to travel," said Kissel, a Republican from Enfield. "If Massachusetts is better than Connecticut, all the high-end gamblers are going to Massachusetts and the people that are struggling to just make ends meet are going to end up in North Central Connecticut."

In Connecticut, the tribes are required to pay 25 percent of all slot revenue to the state. They don’t need to pay anything on table games. The state has received nearly $7 billion total since Mohegan Sun and Foxwoods opened in the 1990s.

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