All we know so far is some data being reported from the first week of wagering at the new casino. The headline is: $73.7M wagered in week at casino.
OK. that's not $73.7 million in profit. The story reports that there was $6.5 million in gross terminal revenue on those wagers. So 6.5/73.7 is a gross profit of 8.8%. Is that a lot? A little? It means that for every dollar wagered 91.2% was returned to the casino patrons. That is actually an awful lot better 'return' than what you get playing the Pennsylvania Lottery. Bet a dollar on a 3 digit straight daily number number and the comparable 'return' is 50%, making it a far more efficient way to donate your money to the government.
Actually when the daily number started the payout I am pretty sure was only 40%. I swear as a young child I tried convincing my mother she should play the lottery with me. I figured I would have to come out ahead. She didn't take me up on the offer. Alas.
But still, how does 91% compare? According to AmericanCasinoGuide the PA casinos that have been open: 92.48% at Mount Airy; 91.79% at Penn National; 91.58% at The Meadows; 91.45% at Philadelphia Park; 91.22% at Mohegan Sun; 91.11% at Presque Isle; and 90.71% at Harrah's Chester.. So it looks like the 91% would be pretty much par for the course here in Pennsylvania. Remarkably so.
What I wonder about a bit is that the state's required payout is 85%. The question is over what time period must they conform to that 85% minimum. Every day? Every week? Something I was told by one of the state gambling regulators some time ago is that the auditing of that 85% minimum must be met over a 5 year period. I can't say for sure that is correct, but makes you wonder if there will be times they will maximize revenue by setting a lower payout. Everything is electronic, but I am not sure how much leeway they have technically or legally to be changing the payout percentages on the machines. There should be no doubt however, the payout percentages in aggregate are not random, but a decision by someone.
Where would I want to play slots, check out the $1 slots in North Las Vegas with a payout of 96.69%... clearly the slowest way to donate your money to others. Of course if you play a game paying you back o.9669 or even 0.9999 each iteration you still wind up in the same place if you play long enough.
I do wonder... will the PA Lottery ever need to increase advertising to keep up with any competition from the casino here or casinos elsewhere? Just came to mind because AdWeek has this picture of innovation in marketing the lottery in Minnesota I think. Innovation everywhere.