We have conducted a sample study of online casino pay-out rates at three respected online gambling industry operations,comparing these with the aggregated pay-out statistics reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board for Nevada casinos, and Atlantic City casinos as reported by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
And it concludes that gamblers are better off with online casinos.
Each of the online gambling groups uses a different software provider, giving a better overall picture of the pay-out rates across the US online gambling industry. They each have a large customer base, making them less susceptible to the skewing of statistics due to major wins, and each group was chosen for its transparency in divulging operational numbers, making a responsible study possible.
We concluded from its study that online casino pay-out ratios are better than brick and mortar equivalents from a player perspective.
Each of the online casinos tested showed a higher average pay-out rate than the land-based casinos in every comparable game category. In particular, low stakes slot machine players are far better off playing at an online casino as the numbers show that land-based casinos hold a much higher percentage of wagers on their lower denomination slot machines, penny slots being the worst with a RTP of 88 percent on average.
In contrast the online casinos that were tested maintained a fixed RTP across all coin sizes, which means that the pay-out rate remains the same no matter how large or small a player bets.
The bottom line is that real money online casino players can expect on average to have more spins, deals, or playtime for a given amount of money at an online casino than at a Vegas or Atlantic City casino, with the possible exception of those playing $25 and $100 slots at the nosebleed stakes.
The study observes that the pay-out rate on the SlotsPlus slots averages almost 96 percent, for Nuworks it is closer to 95 percent, and at RTG it is around 94.5 percent for the video slots or 95 percent for the classic slots.
Classic slot machines recorded an impressive audited RTP of over 110 percent in September 2016. Checking this against a jackpot tracker, we found a major GBP 2.4 million win on Millionaire Genie during that month, skewing a pay-out rate on classic slots that more usually averages around 94 percent in other months.
The Strip in Las Vegas is probably the most expensive place for land gamblers in terms of pay-out ratios. Apart from the penny slots which have dismal returns just about everywhere, players can get far more value for their money by venturing to the downtown Vegas casinos, or even further afield to other parts of the state, the study found.
“The pay-out rates of table games at land based casinos in both Nevada and Atlantic City are astonishingly low,”
“We had a double take when we saw these numbers and had to re-check them to make sure they were accurate. The interesting thing is that we don't see the same low pay-outs at online casinos, with table games and video poker pay-outs tracking closely to their expected pay-out rates based on the built-in house edge of the games.”
The researcher was baffled by the radical difference in land games such as roulette, which often have a fixed house advantage.
“In games that involve the use of a correct strategy we could assume that a large proportion of land-based players have no idea of the correct strategy to use,” he said. “A case in point is 3 Card Poker where the land casinos are holding over 30 percent of all wagers made.
“We could also factor in the possibility of a large number of side bets that are made for suckers. But are online gamblers significantly more savvy than their land-based brethren, enough to wipe away most of that 30 percent hold? It is hard to believe and definitely warrants further investigation.”