Blackjack, roulette prove most lucrative casino games

New figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) have shed light on which casino games are proving the most lucrative.

The NGCB announced last week that the gambling capital of North America’s 400 largest casinos won more from players in 2021 than in any year in history. It turns out that while blackjack continues to be the most popular table game in the casino, the No. 2 game last year was roulette.

Even with new variations of the game that include more double and triple zeroes, roulette’s 424 units statewide collected US$428 million, a 103 per cent increase over last year, reports the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Roulette hold by the casinos was at 19.87 per cent.

Brendan Bussmann, director of government affairs for Las Vegas-based Global Market Advisors, suggested that was due in part to shifting customer preferences and enthusiasms for different games and the level of play, as well as new versions of the classic roulette.

Nevada’s 1,958 blackjack tables — by far the largest segment of table casino games — won US$1.13 billion from players in 2021, 75.8 per cent more than in 2020. Blackjack tables won 14.1 per cent of the number of bets wagered.

The most popular slot machine denomination in 2021 was the penny slot, with 47,822 units across the state. They won a total US$3.758 billion from players last year, a 59.7 per cent increase over 2020, and those machines held 9.85 per cent of the money put into them.

The lowest casino win percentage among slot machine denominations in Nevada, and therefore the highest win percentage for players, was seen on nickel slots. Casinos collected just  5.31 percent of the money that went into the machines. The worst bet by the numbers was penny slots, with 9.85 per cent hold and the popular quarter slots, from which casinos kept 8.04 per cent.

At tables and other games, three-card poker proved lucrative as casinos held 31.53 per cent of the amount wagered.

While sports betting revenue was up 69.4 per cent over 2020, casinos kept just 5.46 per cent of money wagered on sportsbooks in 2021.

Bussmann added that while there should be some caution as economic forces continue to put potential headwinds on gaming revenue, there is still room for growth as these segments have yet to return to pre-pandemic levels.

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