Casino Watch Focus has reported on various studies involving the impact of casino gambling and how near misses can keep gamblers coming back. Most people have also heard the phrase “The House Always Wins.” But rarely do people really look at how much the house wins and how good the odds are at slots or other forms of gambling. Casinos tend to advertise how their slots pay out huge percentages of money to draw gamblers in, but does that really translate to good odds for a gambler? The Wall Street Journal examined the issue and provides some interesting information:
The casino billboards lining America’s roadways tantalize with the lure of riches. “Easy Street. It’s Only a Play Away,” screams one in Arizona. “$7.1 Million Every Day. We’re a Payout Machine,” reads another.
But how often do gamblers really win? What are the chances that a gambler will win on a single day or over a longer period? Don’t bother to ask the casinos. Although they gather vast quantities of data about their customers for marketing purposes, including win and loss tallies for many regulars, casinos keep such information a closely-guarded secret.
Now, thanks to an unprecedented trove of public data detailing the behavior of thousands of Internet gamblers over a two-year period, The Wall Street Journal can provide some answers.
On any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.
The skew was even more pronounced when it came to heavy gamblers. Of the top 10% of bettors—those placing the largest number of total wagers over the two years—about 95% ended up losing money, some dropping tens of thousands of dollars. Big losers of more than $5,000 among these heavy gamblers outnumbered big winners by a staggering 128 to 1.
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