A Deeper Look into the Relationship between House Advantage and Reel Slot Performance

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly

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Results from an international field study conducted on three different casino floors indicated significantly elevated win levels on reel slots with increased house advantages. This work extended that of Lucas and Spilde, which found the same. Our study expanded their work by dramatically increasing the difference in the pars of paired slot titles, which were otherwise identical games. Still, the high par games outperformed their low par counterparts in the all-important metric of T-win. In addition, like Lucas and Spilde, the results of time series regression analyses failed to indicate signs that players were detecting a difference in the pars of the paired games. Specifically, there was no evidence of play migration from the high par game to the low par game. This result provided a valuable addition to the literature, replicating an outcome that refuted a popular operating theory. Moreover, the result was reproduced with considerably expanded differences in pars. Overall, the results supported the ideas that (a) players could not detect the egregious differences in the pars of otherwise identical games and (b) operators may be able recognize material gains in revenues from increasing pars. Both of these outcomes challenged the inveterate wisdom of the industry.


Casino management; Operations; Casino marketing; Pricing; Marketing and sales; Operations analysis; Slot machines


Gaming and Casino Operations Management



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