Gamblers Are Paying More and Winning Less in Las Vegas Casinos
Las Vegas casinos are charging visitors more to gamble while also decreasing their chances of winning.
Minimum bets to play blackjack are higher while payouts for winning hands are lower, and placing bets in roulette is riskier on the Las Vegas Strip, according to The Wall Street Journal. Casino execs say it's all a part of a plan to attract "higher value customers."
"You're bringing in higher value customers, and we're already full," Tom Reeg, Caesars Entertainment CEO, told Wall Street analysts. "So, you're kicking out the lowest end. I see no reason that that needs to stop or would stop."
Losses for blackjack players reached the highest they'd ever been since 2007 at nearly $1 billion on the Strip in 2022, per data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
"People are figuring out something's wrong, but it is just not obvious what that is," former professional poker player John Mehaffey told WSJ.
According to data compiled Mehaffey and his wife Kristina, over two-thirds of blackjack tables on the Strip have shifted from 3:2 payouts to 6:5. Tables that pay out at 6:5 give the winning gambler $12 for every $10 bet as opposed to winning $15 in a 3:2 payout, Mehaffey explained.
Bets at the roulette tables on the Strip are also getting harder to win thanks to a triple-zero iteration of the game that favors the house rather than the gambler, per WSJ.