The Profitability of Slot Machines

slot-machineThe growth of the internet has brought with it the widening availability of casino gaming. For decades, land based casinos have offered the appropriately named “one-armed bandits” as a simple way for players to get the thrill of placing a bet. These casinos have now been supplemented by online gaming sites, as technological advancements have increased the level of confidence that players have in the safety of gambling sites. But are slot machines profitable for casinos?

Every casino game is a business venture with the odds always slanted toward the house, so, of course slot machines are profitable. Now the more recent question is whether online slot machines are more profitable than land based slots.

Over time, brick and mortar housed machines have been content with a payout ratio of about 75%, The remaining 25% provides a decent profit for the house, even after taking into account the costs of establishing and operating the casino. Players can expect an average return of $0.75 for each $1.00 that they play. A player’s return on his money can be different day by day and hour by hour, so this ratio represents an average over a long term.

Online casinos have appeared more interesting to potential players for several reasons, the primary of which is probably their much higher rate of payout compared to the actual casino. The ratio of money played to money returned by internet slots averages around 90%, a more appealing statistic than the 75% standard in actual casinos. Online sites are easy to set up and develop, and their overhead is minimal, making the larger payout ratio possible.

slotIt’s really a win win situation for the online site. Better return on money played results in a growing clientele and encourages longer playing times per site visit as individuals’ funds last longer. Even with the player stretching his enjoyment through better payouts, the online casinos still win.


Without examining the books of the casinos, we can’t indisputably say that the online sites are more profitable than the traditional casinos. One thing that is not in question, however, is the popularity of the slot machine, regardless of where it’s played. Both real and virtual casinos seem destined to continue to provide an entertaining experience and the thrill of the wager.