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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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What's a Slot Machine Earn?

12 July 1999

Did you ever wonder what a slot machine actually earns for its casino owner?

My findings indicate to me why casino operators regard slot machines so highly:

In 1996, slot machine win accounted for 68.6% of total revenues at casinos and riverboat destinations in the United States, an increase of over 20% since 1982. The average win per slot machine in those casinos was $39,000 in 1996! Since the "life span" of the average slot machine is four years, that means the average machine will earn about $156,000 for its owner before being retired…not bad for a device that costs about $5,600 brand new!

And remember…slot machines don't eat or need benefits. All they require are a little maintenance, and that's a drop in the ocean compared to the revenues they bring in.

It didn't surprise me that in 1996 there were far more quarter slot machines in place at Nevada casinos than any other variety with 93,985 units. What did surprise me was that there were more nickel machines than dollar machines. The nickel variety outnumbered the popular dollar units 36,970 to 34,183.


John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp