More people enjoy casino gambling than go bowling. More adult Americans go to casinos than go to Major League Baseball games. Casino gambling is more popular than tennis, football, soccer, boxing, and professional wrestling. There are more casino gamblers than there are viewers for the top-rated television shows. I’m guessing there are more casino gamblers in America than there are adults having sex tonight.
Most Americans now live within 300 miles of a casino, so enjoying a day, a night, or a few days or nights of casino fun is not out of the norm for America’s approximately 54 million casino players. It used to be that going to Vegas or illegal joints were the only ways to get your gambling juices boiling, but now, with casinos in a majority of the states, players spending time in Lady Luck’s cathedrals is not unusual. And we love to spend time in the casinos. I’m certain that readers of this book are avid casino players.
Casino gambling is a multibillion-dollar industry. The cash cow, the golden goose, and the treasure chest of this industry is the once-lowly slot machine. Strangely enough, it wasn’t until 1984 that slot machines made more money for Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos than did the table games. Until that time casinos were associated with table games, not slot machines. The top table game until about 1963 was craps; after 1963 it was blackjack. Roulette always had a following as “the third game,” and those carnival games you now see spread throughout the table game areas, such as Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, and Caribbean Stud (plus many more!) didn’t come into the houses of chance until after the slot machines made their move to take over the casino world. Before that casino is primarily a table game house, there is no slot machine, and still far from the era of slot online.
In those heady pre-1984 days especially from 1942 through 1978, with the opening of Atlantic City-the slot machines were considered the province of women. Cigar-smoking middle-aged craps players wearing impeccable suits could be heard saying, “Hey, baby, here’s some change. Go play the machines.” That was then.
This is now: About 80 percent of all women casino-goers play the slot machines, while about 63 percent of the men do so. The table games are still dominated by men, with craps having about a 90 percent male majority and blackjack and roulette seeing smaller male majorities but majorities nevertheless.
Obviously surveys show that women like playing the machines, and many of the machines are geared to this female clientele. Note the number of new machines each year that have movie titles, television titles, or star titles as their branding. Most of these machines are clearly aimed at women-although many machines are geared toward a male demographic as well (the Star Wars and comic-book machines, for example).
Why women prefer slots to table games in such a huge majority is not truly known with certainty. Maybe the tables seem more competitive, combative, and judgmental. After all, rarely does anyone tell you how to play the slots, but many blackjack “experts” do not hesitate to tell other blackjack players how to play their hands or scold them if they just played a hand incorrectly. Whether the blackjack “expert” actually knows how to play is irrelevant-he thinks he knows how to play, and that is enough for him to lambaste anyone who plays differently.
But those 63 percent of males playing those machines is where the cosmic increase in slot play has occurred. The men of the old days rarely played slot machines, and, if they did, they played a few coins here or there, nothing major.
Once men broke into slot play in large numbers at the same time that casinos were spreading like wildfire throughout the country, the die was cast-or rather the Random Number Generator (RNG) was twirled-and slot machines became the big thing.
The slot-machine aficionado is not only the preferred player in the casinos but a player many casino advertisers wish to reach. Look at casinos’ television commercials, and they feature slot players more than table-game players, a thing unheard of before 1985. Can you imagine James Bond playing a Betty Boop machine?
Slot machines are no longer chump change to the casinos. Using average paybacks released by casino jurisdictions for various denominations, with a 12-spin-per-minute play rate and three coins being played, a 25¢ slot player’s expectation is to lose about $54 per hour based on a house edge of 10 percent. A $1 slot player’s expectation is to lose about $194 per hour, based on a house edge of 9 percent. A $5 slot player’s expectation is to lose about $432 per hour, based on a house edge of 4 percent. You can play from everywhere and enjoy judi slot online.