What’s the latest trend on the gambling front? Penny slot machines. According to USA Today, penny slots used to be considered a joke by serious gamblers, but all that has changed. First, right now, penny slots are more profitable than anything else in the casino. In the current economy, profits for every game in Nevada have dropped 19% except for penny slots, which have actually risen 3%. The same is true in every state with casinos. Also, the low price keeps gamblers playing longer – which means they’re more likely to lose all the money they sat down with. Gamblers rarely play just a penny. Penny slots allow bets of more than $10, and gamblers actually risk an average of 40 cents per spin. In fact, profits are the main reason casinos have been racing to install more penny slots. Vegas casinos added more than 7,000 in the past two years, and removed 12,000 machines that required bigger bets. Penny slots now account for one quarter of all slot machine revenue in Nevada, and two-thirds of casino profits in Missouri.
The gamblers also love penny slots. For one thing the machines are set to pay off more frequently than other slots, or about 70 cents for every $1 bet. They’re also a lot easier to use. When jackpots used to be paid out in coins, machines often ran out of money and had to be refilled partway through a payout. The coins were also dirty and heavy. A $100 jackpot of pennies would weigh 55 pounds. Today, most penny slots accept dollar bills, and the payouts are paper jackpot tickets that can be exchanged for cash, or used to make more bets. Gamblers should be warned: Whether you bet one cent or $100, the odds of winning a slot machine jackpot are one in more than 262,000.