BleedingChipsSlowly
BleedingChipsSlowly
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November 2nd, 2016 at 10:31:18 PM permalink
I was searching for information related to another thread when I came across a now nine-month old article published by New London's The Day: Foxwoods reports revenue gains in latest quarter. Per the title of this thread Foxwoods claims a hold of 18.9% for table games in the period reported. I recall their hold on slots as always less than 9% in other reports.

From a casino profit viewpoint I realize that hold on table games has to pay the much greater cost of operating a table compared to slots: slots are the most efficient way for a casino to separate patrons from their money. I also realize the hold varies greatly among table game types, as does the hold for particular slots. However, I infer the reported numbers indicate in general a far greater fleecing takes place at the tables than the slots from a patron's viewpoint. Am I mistaken? Should I feel better about pissing away quarter-a-play at 5% HE VP bar slots for free drinks? Previously I had thought the biggest suckers were seated at the slot machines. (I am assuming Foxwoods' operations are representative of casinos in general.)

Is the significant difference simply due to high table minimums ensuring variance will quickly claim patrons' bankrolls?
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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November 2nd, 2016 at 11:09:01 PM permalink
I wouldn't put it like that. The subject of table game holds versus slot machine holds was a Las Vegas Advisor Question of the Day (QoD) a few weeks ago. I wouldn't quite call it a fleecing, partly because a service fee is required to offer gambling services in the first place, (just like a movie house or restaurant), to keep the lights on and dealers and slot tech paid, and because house edges and performance matrices are available, such as at Mike Shackleford's Wizard of odds site.

Below is from the Las Vegas Advisor (September 30 3016):

This [question of table games having much higher hold requirements] is actually straightforward, but seems paradoxical at first glance; the hint here is that the answer is all labor and volume-based, explaining the lesser need [for slots] to hold more of the action.

A typical group of 5-cent slot machines will both out-number and out-drop the entire group of table games at a typical casino all without requiring dealers and floor supervisors (and their salaries) to be constantly present supervising and running every deal of the cards or throw of the dice. A handful of slot techs can handle the full floor. By contrast, table games are more labor intensive, so in operational terms, its like comparing a snack vending machine or a drive-thru to a steakhouse.

An example here is from the public records of the Missouri gaming commission from July 2016, for the Ameristar casino at Kansas City: their 171 5-cent slots dropped $18.7M and held just under a million dollars at a 94.87% (for a hold of 5.13%), while their 72 table games of all stripes Dropped $11M at a 19.2% hold, at about $2M dollars. 25-cent and Dollar machines hold about the same as 5c machines, and are about as popular and numerous as them also. These detail records are posted online by some states for reasons of good faith transparency and as a public service, and provide a lot of information. (See: http://www.mgc.dps.mo.gov/Casino_Gaming/rb_Fin_main.html )

Also note that the 1-cent machines (of huge machine numbers and drop) have closer to a 12% hold, for an 88% Return-to-Player); the $5 to $25 machines comprise just a handful, and return 95% on a $6M handle to the player, holding about 5% of it.
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
tringlomane
tringlomane
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November 2nd, 2016 at 11:28:40 PM permalink
The key piece of information you are missing from that article is that table game hold is typically NOT calculated the same way as slot hold because individual wagers are impossible to track on live tables.

Table Game Hold = Amount of chips won by the table / Total Chips Bought x 100%

Slot Machine Hold = Amount of money won by machine / Total Amount Wagered x 100%

So table game hold depends on not only the house edge, but the average amount players buy in for, and their average amount of time at the table.

If you would examine slot machine hold like you would table game hold as: Amount of money won by machine / Total Amount Fed into machine x 100% then you will find hold to be higher than the house edge. Most states don't calculate this, but Illinois bars and restaurants do. For September, the hold for slots there with this measure was 25.68%.
Paigowdan
Paigowdan
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November 2nd, 2016 at 11:42:30 PM permalink
Quote: triglomane

The key piece of information you are missing from that article is that table game hold is typically NOT calculated the same way as slot hold because individual wagers are impossible to track on live tables.

Table Game Hold = Amount of chips won by the table / Total Chips Bought x 100%

Slot Machine Hold = Amount of money won by machine / Total Amount Wagered x 100%

So table game hold depends on not only the house edge, but the average amount players buy in for, and their average amount of time at the table.

If you would examine slot machine hold like you would table game hold as: Amount of money won by machine / Total Amount Fed into machine x 100% then you will find hold to be higher than the house edge. Most states don't calculate this, but Illinois bars and restaurants do. For September, the hold for slots there with this measure was 25.68%.


I do like the new metric Amount Fed [in] as being different from Amount Wagered ;)

The bottom line, in terms of actual reported profit received by the operators, is that slots provide more income while taking a proportionately smaller (much smaller) cut of the new money bet overall; the financial data gaming commissions provide reveals this.
Last edited by: Paigowdan on Nov 3, 2016
Beware of all enterprises that require new clothes - Henry David Thoreau. Like Dealers' uniforms - Dan.
BleedingChipsSlowly
BleedingChipsSlowly
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November 3rd, 2016 at 9:39:23 AM permalink
Thanks Paigowday and tringlomane, for explaining the different "hold" metrics used for table games versus slots. I pulled up the Illinois Gaming Board Video Gaming Revenue Reports tringlomane referneced and saw that VGT Income reported was $356,122,311.00 Funds In (machine feed) and Funds Out (wins and money not wagered) $264,653,176.22 for that cited 25.68%. I also noted that VGT Wagering Activity was reported as $1,162,162,292.35 Amount Played and $1,070,695,119.31 Amount Won for a "slot hold" of 7.87%.

I now get it that for table games, where the exact wagers placed are not tracked, chips sold less chips redeemed is the metric that can be measured and would be more appropriately compared to the VGT Income figures when available. Thank you!

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