The Short Take:
- We looked at Atlantic City slot data to determine how much is played in each slot machine (the handle) and how much is won by the casino on each machine per month, on average.
- The per machine handle varies greatly from over $171K per month for the Borgata down to under $68K per month for Bally’s
- The per machine casino win per month also varies. The Borgata wins on average $14K per machine per month while Bally’s win is around $6K per month.
Have you ever walked into your favorite Atlantic City casino, looked out at the sea of slot machines and wondered how much money goes into each one every month, and how much the casino actually wins per slot machine?
We wondered that too! So we put together a study of Atlantic City slot machine statistics and some snazzy charts and now we’re ready to tell you. But first, a little background.
Whenever a slot machine is played, that cost of the spin is called the handle, whether or not the player wins. So, if a player bets $3 on a spin, that $3 is added to the casino’s slot handle whether the player loses or wins $1,000. Add up all of the money played on each slot machine over a month and you get the casino’s monthly handle. To find out how much each slot machine’s handle is we just divide the casino’s monthly handle by the number of slot machines in the casino.
Since business varies from month to month for Atlantic City casinos (July is busier than February, for example), we looked at the statistics for the first nine months of 2018. This should give us a pretty good idea of the average monthly handle for each slot machine in each casino.
As we mentioned earlier, to come up with the handle for each slot machine we need to know the number of slots in each casino. The AC casinos report this number monthly. For example, in September 2018, the number of authorized slot machines in each casino are below:
Number of Slot Machines in Atlantic City Casinos in September 2018:
When we take the total slot handle each month and divide it by the number of slot machines in the casino, we get the handle per machine each month. Then we average the months in the study to get the average monthly handle per machine from January 1, 2018 through September 30, 2018:
Borgata was the clear winner. Customers played over $171K in each of Borgata’s slots every month, on average. Harrah’s was a distant second with $122K on average per month. The middle of the pack sees four casinos: the Golden Nugget, the Trop, Caesars and Resorts. Trailing the pack was Bally’s, with under $68K played in each slot machine per month on average. Bally’s machines saw just 55% of the action that the Borgata’s saw.
Now that we know the average handle per machine per month, let’s take a look at the average amount each Atlantic City casino wins per machine per month. To do this, we take the total monthly slot wins which are reported by the casinos and divide that by the number of machines. Again, we looked at the first nine months of 2018 to get a monthly average:
It’s no surprise that the Borgata was the winner in this category too. Borgata won over $14K on every single machine every single month on average. Harrah’s came in at $10K per machine, which is about 29% below Borgata’s win rate. The middle of the pack is comprised of the same four casinos we saw earlier in the per slot handle chart. And poor Bally’s is again dead last with just over $6K won per slot machine per month.
You may have noticed that we left out the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort from this study. They were omitted because they did not have data going back to January. If you are wondering, the Hard Rock’s 2,065 slot machines had an average monthly handle per machine of $99,352 and an average win for the casino of $10,002 from July through September, its first full three months of operation. Based on these numbers, the Hard Rock is about in the center of the pack on a per machine basis.
For the same three-month time period, Ocean Resort had an average monthly handle per machine of $60,968 and an average win per machine of $6,045 for its 1,937 slot machines. These numbers put it well below even Bally’s for both categories.
Were you surprised by how much each slot machine takes in and wins for the casinos? We were! We’ll also be taking a look at the average drop and wins on table games soon, so keep Ante Research bookmarked and check back often!