How Much Does Each Slot Machine in a Casino Win?

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:

Bally’s

1,776

Borgata 2,825
Caesars 1,894
Golden Nugget 1,456
Harrah’s 2,109
Resorts 1,463
Tropicana 2,458

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!

The Trend in Atlantic City Casino Slot Wins Is a Mixed Bag

The Short Take:

  • We analyzed close to five years of data on casino slot wins in the Atlantic City market
  • Four casinos have been consistently increasing their slot wins, led by the Borgata
  • Three casinos consistently see smaller and smaller slot wins over time, led by Harrah’s

Yesterday we took a look at the September casino slot wins for the nine Atlantic City casinos. While the year over year (September 2018 versus September 2017) slot wins were up over 8.5% city-wide, we saw that the opening of the Hard Rock and the Ocean Club caused all of the other casinos to have dramatic drops in their win rates.

This increased competition will require all AC casinos to fight hard to retain customers, so we wanted to look at the historical strength of the individual casinos based on one of their largest sources of revenue – slot machine wins.  We’ll do this by looking at each casino’s slot wins since the beginning of 2014.  For this study, we are ignoring the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort since they opened just a few months ago and do not have long-term historical data to analyze.

Four casinos have seen consistently increasing slot wins since January 2014.  Sure, there are peaks and valleys, but the general trend in slot wins is upward.

The market leader, the Borgata (owned by MGM) is the first casino that has an upward linear trend line for slot wins over the last four and a half years or so.  The Borgata is joined by the Tropicana, Golden Nugget and Resorts.  While these last three have slot wins that are significantly less than the Borgata on an absolute basis, that is not what we are looking at now.  We’re looking at each casino’s trend in slot wins – are they consistently winning more and more money on their slots over time.

The chart below clearly shows the upward trend of these four casinos’ slot wins.  Each bar in the chart represents one month of slot wins. The black line sloping upward is the trend for each casino.

Unlike the four casinos above that have consistently increasing slot wins over time, there are three casinos that have the problem of decreasing slot wins over time.  All three of these casinos are owned by Caesars Entertainment (CZR): Harrah’s, Caesars and Bally’s.

Harrah’s is the most problematic since it has the worst trendline of the three.  This can be seen by the negative slope of the black trend line – it is sloping downward the most, which indicates the most aggressive loss of casino wins over time.  Bally’s trend is a bit less negative, but the casino is still bleeding slot wins consistently.  Caesars is the least dire of these three casinos.  While its trendline is negative, it is not nearly as dramatic as Harrah’s.

Here’s the visual of the slot win trend for these three casinos:

As we said when we looked at the trends for overall casino wins, the trends of the slot wins are more important than ever as competition in the Atlantic City market heats up.

Be sure to bookmark us because we’ll be keeping a close eye on the Atlantic City market!

Atlantic City Slot Wins Grow by Over 8.5% But Most Casinos Saw Drops from Last Year

The Short Take:

  • Atlantic City casinos won over $166.7 million from slot players in September
  • While slot wins city-wide grew by over 8.5% from last September, most casinos saw declines due to the opening of the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort
  • The Atlantic City leader in slot wins was the Borgata while the Ocean Resort had the smallest total slot wins

Total Slot Wins

In September, the nine Atlantic City casinos won $166,790,674 from their slot machines. As usual, the Borgata (owned by MGM) saw the largest win with its haul of over $41 million in slot wins. Tropicana and Harrah’s came in second and third with $23 million and $20 million, respectively.

The newcomers on the Boardwalk produced mixed results.  The Hard Rock had the fourth highest slot wins for the month, with over $17 million. The Ocean Resort did not fare as well. The Boardwalk’s northern-most casino came in dead last for slot wins with its take of under $11 million.

Here’s an overview of the slot wins for each Atlantic City casino:

 

Year Over Year Growth for Slot Wins

This was the first September of operations for the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort.  Their emergence in Atlantic City had a huge impact on the slot wins for the casinos that existed before their openings.

Although total slot wins increased by over 8.5% for the entire Atlantic City market in September 2018 versus September 2017, each of the seven casinos that existed a year ago saw dramatic decreases in slot wins.

Harrah’s (owned by CZR) was the biggest loser.  It saw its September slot wins drop a staggering 19.7% compared to the same month last year. Caesars (also owned by CZR) was the second biggest loser, dropping 15.0%.  Even the best performing casino in terms of year over year slot win growth saw a drop from last year: the Tropicana’s wins fell 2.5%

Here’s a look at the year over year slot wins growth rates (or should we say decline rates?!?) for each Atlantic City casino:

 

Slot Win Market Share

While the Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort definitely impacted the other casinos in Atlantic City, these two newcomers still only had a combined slot wins market share of 16.8% in September.  The Hard Rock’s market share of 10.3% is fourth in the city while the Ocean Resorts is dead last in terms of slot wins market share at 6.5%.

The slot wins market leader is, as usual, the Borgata with 24.6% of the market.  This is only a bit less than half of the next casino on the market share leader board: the Tropicana with 13.9% of the slot wins share for September.

Here’s the slot wins market share tally for September 2018:

 

Will AC slot hosts in the casinos affected by the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort openings be able to bring back players to the older casinos?  Only time will tell, but we here at Ante Research will keep an eye on the developments.  So, bookmark us and check back soon!

Casino Win Trend a Mixed Bag for Atlantic City Casinos

The Short Take:

  • We studied the monthly total casino wins at each Atlantic City casino for close to five years
  • Four casinos have an upward trend over this time period, increasing their casino wins steadily
  • Three casinos have a downward trend with their casino wins progressively falling
  • Watching these trends is important as new competition takes hold in the Atlantic City market

In yesterday’s article we looked at the total September casino win for each Atlantic City casino.  We saw that while the city-wide win rate has increased overall, most casinos that have been around for a while were really hurt with the opening of the Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort earlier this year.

This made us wonder what the overall long-term trend is for each casino based on the amount they are winning each month on the casino floor.  So, we looked at the monthly casino win statistics over nearly five years and it turns out the results are a mixed bag.

Four casinos have an upward trend while three of the casinos’ trends are downward.  And all three casinos that have a negative casino win trend have one thing in common.  Hint: they are all owned by the same company, but more to come on that in a bit.

A quick note before we get into the details.  We only looked at data for the casinos that are currently in operation, so we ignored shuttered casinos like the Taj Mahal, Trump Plaza, Revel and the Atlantic Club. We also ignored the two newcomers on the Boardwalk – the Hard Rock and the Ocean Club – because they just opened recently and do not have long-term historical data available.

Now, onto the results. First the winners.  As the chart below shows, four casinos have an upward trend in total casino wins over the period studied – January 2014 through September 2018.  For each casino, the chart plots the monthly total casino wins and overlays a trend line, which is the black line slopping upward in each casino’s quadrant.  For the statistics nerds out there, this is a linear trend line.

The Borgata, Tropicana, Golden Nugget and Resorts all have a positive casino win trend over the nearly five years of data studied.  While you see monthly spikes and valleys for each casino (due largely to seasonality or a particularly lucky or unlucky month on the casino floor), the overall trend for each of these AC casinos is upward.

So, who are the losers? It turns out that the losers are the three Atlantic City casinos that are owned by Caesars Entertainment (CZR). Harrah’s, Caesars and Bally’s all have negative slopping trend lines over the nearly five-year period studied. Just by looking at the monthly plot bars, you can visually see that overall casino win rates are dropping for these three CZR properties.

What does this analysis tell us about the future of the Atlantic City casinos?  One answer may be that the four casinos that have been increasing their casino wins long-term are in a stronger position to battle the two newcomers in the market.  Over the years they have been building their brand and customer loyalty which resulted in more action in their casinos.

After all, if the casinos that have been drifting lower and lower even before more competition hit them in the face will be confronting a real battle in the coming months and years.

We’ll be staying on top of all of the Atlantic City casino action here at Ante Research.  Make sure to bookmark us and check back soon!

The Hard Rock and Ocean Resort Put a Dent in Other Casinos’ Wins

The Short Take:

  • Atlantic City casinos logged over $231.9 million in casino wins in September, led by the Borgata
  • The new casinos in town, the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort, won a combined $40.8 million during the month
  • Borgata held 26.1% of the casino wins market share, followed by the Trop at 12.9%
  • Almost all casinos that have been open at least a year saw huge year over year decreases in casino wins since the opening of the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort

Atlantic City’s nine casinos recorded $231,963,073 in casino wins in September.  Casino wins are for all games on the main casino floor, including table games, slots and poker.

As usual, the Borgata lead the pack with over $60.5 million in casino wins for the month.  The Tropicana came in second with just shy of $30 million.  The two newer casinos on the Boardwalk, the Ocean Resort and Hard Rock, tallied $14.9 million and $25.9 million in casino wins, respectively.

Here’s a quick overview of each casino’s win total during September:

Market share based on casino wins was led by the Borgata which controlled 26.1% of the city’s casino wins.  Combined, the two new casinos controlled 17.6% of the market during their first September since opening: The Hard Rock controlled 11.2% of the market while the Ocean Resort saw a 6.4% market share.

Here’s the total market share of casino wins for each of the nine AC casinos:

The Atlantic City market saw overall casino wins grow by 7.7% in September 2018 compared to September 2017.  While this is a healthy growth rate for the market in general, the opening of the Hard Rock and Ocean Resort had drastic consequences on the casinos that operated before their arrival.  All but one of the seven casinos that existed this time last year saw dramatic year over year decreases in their casino wins in September.  Four casinos were down double digits.

Compared to September 2017, the top casino in the city, the Borgata, saw its casino wins decrease in September 2018 by 13.5%.  And the Borgata was not even the worst performer.  That title goes to Caesars which saw its casino wins drop by a staggering 23.2% from last September.  The only casino to post a year over year increase, barely, was the Tropicana.  The Trop posted a 0.5% increase in casino wins.

Here’s a look at each casino’s year over year casino wins growth rate:

As the Atlantic City gambling market absorbs the new competitors on the Boardwalk it will be interesting to watch who wins and who loses the battle for the gamblers’ dollars.  We’ll keep an eye on this at Ante Research, so bookmark us and check back often!

New Jersey Casinos & Racetracks Saw Over $12.5 Million Internet Sports Gambling Revenue in September

The Short Take:

  • In the second month since its debut, casinos and racetracks reported over $12.5 million in gross revenue in September
  • Resorts Casino led the pack with over $8.5 million in online sports revenue
  • Atlantic City casinos had over $9.6 million in online sports betting revenue while the two racetracks saw over $2.9 million in revenue
  • In the last two months the state of New Jersey has collected over $2 million in taxes on internet sports betting

In its second month of existence, legal internet sports betting in New Jersey brought in $12,567,785 in online gross revenue in September.  That’s a 302% increase from August when several casinos and racetracks were just getting their internet sports betting sites up and running.

The clear winner in internet sports betting in New Jersey in September was Resorts.  The casino brought in $8,505,940 in online sports betting revenue.  It should be noted that Resorts partnered with fantasy sports leader Draft Kings and it is clearly using its partner’s name recognition and reach to its benefit.

The Meadowlands’ sports internet wagering site was second, with over $2.8 million in revenue. Like Resorts, the Meadowlands has partnered with a leader in fantasy sports: Fan Duel

Here’s a look at the internet sports wagering September revenue for each casino or racetrack site:

NJ Internet Sports Revenue

Resorts held 67.7% of the market share for internet sports betting in September while the Meadowlands had a 22.7% market share.

In total, the five Atlantic City casinos that offer internet sports betting held a 76.7% market share in New Jersey with a combined $9,644,452 in revenue.  The two racetracks (Meadowlands and Monmouth) had a combined $2,923,333 in revenue which equates to 23.3% of the state’s internet sports betting market.

Here’s a look at the September market share for each of the casinos and racetracks that offer internet sports wagering:

NJ Internet Sports Betting Revenue

The September internet sports betting activity was a good thing not just for the casinos and racetracks, but for the state of New Jersey too.  The taxes paid to the state for the month totaled $1,633,311.

So far, since internet sports wagering was first offered in August, the state has collected over $2 million in taxes on over $15.6 million in online sports revenue.

While internet sports betting is growing fast in New Jersey, it is only part of the sports betting available in the state.  Casinos and racetracks also have on-site sports books which brought in over $11 million in September and almost $25 million since sports betting was legalized in New Jersey earlier this year.  Read our coverage of the on-site sports betting September data here.

Here is the list of sports betting websites that officially operated in the state of New Jersey as of the end of September and the affiliated casino or racetrack that operates each:

Ballys: CaesarsCasino.com

Ballys: us.888sport.com

Borgata: playMGM.com

Golden Nugget: PlaySugarHouse.com

Ocean Resort: nj.us.WilliamHill.com

Resorts: SportsBook.DraftKings.com

Resorts: BetStarsNJ.com

Meadowlands: sportsbook.fanduel.com

Monmouth: nj.us.WilliamHill.com

Golden Nugget Had Biggest June Internet Gaming Winning in NJ


The New Jersey internet gaming stats for June 2017 are out, and the Golden Nugget was the runaway winner.

In June, the Golden Nugget, owned privately by Landry’s, had total internet gambling wins of $5,576,526, or 27.6% of the total New Jersey internet winnings.  This was close to two million more than its nearest rival – the Borgata, owned by MGM, which brought in $3,887,240, or 19.2% of the state’s internet winnings, in June. In all, the five AC properties that run internet gambling in New Jersey had internet winnings of $20,233,399.



Here’s a rundown of each casino’s internet winnings for June 2017:

  • Golden Nugget: $5,576,526 (27.6% of NJ internet winnings)
  • Borgata (MGM): $3,887,240 (19.2% of total)
  • Resorts: $3,678,622 (18.2% of total)
  • Caesars (CZR): $3,611,618 (17.8% of total)
  • Tropicana (TPCA): $3,479,393 (17.2% of total)
  • TOTAL: $20,233,399

Not only did the Nugget claim victory in the race for total internet winnings, it blew out the competition in terms of year-over-year winnings growth.  Compared to June 2016, the Golden Nugget’s June 2017 internet winnings represent a massive 57.8% increase.  The next closest year-over-year increase in internet gambling winnings was Resorts at 36.1%. Overall, New Jersey internet gambling winnings increased by 23.4% in June 2017 vs June 2016.

Here’s the year-over-year growth rate for internet gambling winnings in New Jersey:

  • Golden Nugget: 57.8%
  • Resorts: 36.1%
  • Caesars: 18.8%
  • Tropicana: 4.0%
  • Borgata: 2.9%
  • TOTAL: 23.4%

Each AC casino offers internet gambling to people physically located in-state through several websites.  In June the following websites offered casino gambling in New Jersey:


  • Operated by Borgata
    • BorgataCasino.com
    • BorgataPoker.com
    • NJPartyPoker.com
    • PalaCasino.com
  • Operated by Caesars
    • CaesarsCasino.com
    • HarrahsCasino.com
    • WSOP.com
    • 888.com
  • Operated by Golden Nugget
    • GoldenNuggetCasino.com
    • BetFairCasino.com
    • PlaySugarHouse.com
  • Operated by Resorts
    • ResortsCasino.com
    • MoheganSunCasino.com
    • PokerStarsNJ.com
  • Operated by Tropicana
    • Tropicana.com
    • Virgin.com