Online casino action, is it really better than Vegas?

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Online casino action on the Internet. Everyone says that the odds online are better than in Las Vegas, but is that really true? Some online casinos have said due to not having buildings to maintain, huge staffs, ultra expensive ad campaigns along with overall lower taxation rates than land based casinos they can offer better returns to the gambler. This seems to be verifiable by firms like PriceWaterhouseCoopers and The Online Players Association. A number of online casinos have their payouts analyzed monthly by them.

Let's take a look at the February 2003 payout percentages as determined by PriceWaterpriceCoopers and The Online Players Association at a few online casinos. (The figures for Omni Casino are from December 2003 as February was not available.) We can see the percentages as reported for all games, but our focus for payout percentage comparison will be with slots.

Captain Cooks
Table Games 98.35%
Video Poker 96.86%
Slots (slots and video slots) 95.23%
All Games 96.63%

Casino Fortune
Table Games 98.99%
Video Poker 97.14%
Slots (slots and video slots) 96.04%
Blackjack (single and multi-player) 99.17%
Roulette (single and multi-player) 98%
Average payout percentage 98.08%

Mapau Casino
Table Games 98.25%
Video Poker 97.43%
Slots (slots and video slots) 97.21%
Blackjack (single and multi-player) 99.51%
Roulette (single and multi-player) 91.73%
Average payout percentage 97.76%

Omni Casino®
Blackjack (single and multi-player) 98.48%
Spice Island Poker (single and multi-player) 94.39%
Slots (slots and video slots) 94.13%
Roulette (single and multi-player) 93.07%
Video Poker 97.76%
Other Games 98.24%
Average payout percentage 97.78%

Next, we look at slot payouts for Las Vegas land based casinos. Michael Shackleford made a report on the percentage payout that slots pay in Las Vegas. The report featured the five cent slots machines, covering the off strip, downtown and strip casinos. When the February 2003 report was complete, the average percentage payout was 91.74%. Michael Shackleford's Las Vegas Slot Machine Odds report goes over percentages that were paid out by land based casinos all over Vegas. At the bottom of the report are links that show an analysis of quarter and dollar slots as well.

You can also find software reviews at Michael Shackleford's Wizard of Odds

But even with this information, knowing more about the benefits of wagering at both online and land based casinos are needed in order to see which one has the greater advantage.

Land Based Casinos
  • Free rooms, food, shows and other comps for active gamblers
  • Excellent buffets and top restaurants
  • Excitement and being surrounded by the best entertainment on earth
  • For those who smoke, freedom to do so while you gamble
Online Casinos
  • Huge sign-up bonuses for first time players
  • Additional bonuses for loyalty play (Free money to gamble with)
  • Play in the privacy in your home whenever you want
  • Money spent on the room, transportation, etc. can stay in your pocket
If you want to look at additional reports on the payout odds of online casinos, most have a logo link to PriceWaterhouseCooper at the bottom of their home page. Click on this to see a list of reports. For The Online Players Association, links to their reports are also on the home page at the bottom. So the question is settled, for entertainment go to Las Vegas. But for the best overall odds for gambling, take a chance with millions of others over the Internet!
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