Penny Slots Bring In Big Bucks
By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff
Posted Aug 31, 2009 11:41 AM CDT
A woman plays the slot machines at the grand opening of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Bethlehem, Pa.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – Casinos are making big bank off the tiniest—and oft-most derided—denomination, USA Today reports. Gambling outfits have added penny slots at an amazing rate—in the last 2 years, Nevada has removed 12,000 more costly machines to make room for 7,000 penny slots—and the move has paid off. In Missouri, for example, penny bets make up 42% of the total and a whopping 63% of casino profits.

Not that penny slots take pennies, or are really machines for that matter: The computerized game takes dollar bills or pre-loaded debit cards. Patrons can, however, bet in 1-cent increments, and the machines are designed to pay out smaller amounts, but do so more often. While the rest of the industry was off 19% last year in Nevada, penny slot receipts were up 3%. “A consultant told us it was a joke to put all those penny machines in,” a casino exec says. “Then we showed him our revenue.”

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
AClotfelter
Sep 2, 2009 9:27 AM CDT
Very few slot machines in casinos still pay out in actual coins. Most will print out a receipt that you then take to an ATM to get your cash.
BlueAyez
Aug 31, 2009 10:07 AM CDT
The profits from penny, nickel, dime and quarter slots pay for the winnings on the dollar+ slots. They have the smallest % payout of all the slots.
paul123
Aug 31, 2009 6:47 AM CDT
Shrewd!