Introduction to Hollywood Lawrenceburg
On the eastern border of Indiana, near Lawrenceburg, lies Hollywood Lawrenceburg. This casino offers Class III, Vegas-style slot machines. What follows is my review of this casino.
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Hollywood Lawrenceburg, 30 Miles West of Cincinnati
Indiana’s 1851 constitution banned lotteries, historically interpreted by courts to mean all gambling. In 1988, Indiana approved a constitutional amendment removing this ban. Within months, cities with economic difficulties had casino proposals, including ten riverboat casinos.
In 2007, Indiana allowed horse tracks to have as many as 2,000 electronic gaming machines.
Furthermore, Hollywood Lawrenceburg was originally established as a riverboat casino. However, the Indiana state legislature approved land-based casinos in 2015, allowing riverboat casinos to move into a land-based casino facility if located on their current property.
Part of my casino review will ascertain if Hollywood Lawrenceburg remains a riverboat casino or has renovated itself since 2015 to a non-riverboat casino property. Why is this important?
Because riverboat casinos don’t have the infrastructure to install a central computer system to control their slot machines remotely, in brief, riverboat casinos have no place to put the necessary cables as they don’t have floors but rather a hull. And whether a casino has a central server impacts which of my winning slots strategies are possible there.
Theoretical Payout Limit and Return Statistics
The Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) regulates gaming in Indiana.
The IGC has its Gaming Control Division as a law enforcement arm with a primary role to investigate illegal gambling. Enforcement of illegal gambling at bars and taverns is by the Indiana Alcohol & Tobacco Commission.
Indiana has no theoretical payout limits. However, monthly and annual return statistics are publicly available for commercial casinos.
The IGC offers comprehensive annual reports on all aspects of legal gaming in Indiana.
The casino hold percent for each commercial casino is WIN divided by COIN IN. Subtraction from 100% gives the player win percent. Calculate annual win% from p. 43 of the FY 2021 Annual Report. As of 2020, unfortunately, this annual report no longer offers annual win% by slot machine denomination.
Monthly win% is from p. 6 of the pdf, or worksheet Sheet6 of the MS Excel spreadsheet, from Monthly Revenue Reports.
The monthly player win percent for Indiana’s casinos in August 2021 were:
- Ameristar East Chicago: 90.6%
- Belterra: 91.2%
- Blue Chip: 91.2%
- Caesars Southern Indiana: 90.2%
- French Lick: 91.2%
- Hard Rock Northern Indiana: 90.0%
- Harrah’s Hoosier Park: 89.7%
- Hollywood Lawrenceburg: 90.5%
- Horseshoe Hammond: 90.0%
- Indiana Grand Racing: 89.8%
- Rising Star: 89.4%
- Tropicana Evansville: 90.1%
The highest return in August 2021 went to three casinos tied at 91.2%: Belterra, Blue Chip, and French Lick. The lowest return went to Rising Star at 89.4%.
Overall, Hollywood Lawrenceburg has the second highest return at 90.5%. This means today’s trip is to the fourth ranked of Indiana’s eleven casinos.
Food and Accommodations
Otherwise, Hollywood Lawrenceburg is open 24 hours a day and seven days a week. This casino permits smoking on the casino floor.
This casino has an attached hotel and a parking garage, including valet service. Hollywood Lawrenceburg has many restaurants and bars open, and their buffet is still closed. Menus are limited. No masks are currently required if the guest is vaccinated, although all employees and vendors must wear masks.
The mychoice Loyalty Program
Hollywood Lawrenceburg has its mychoice player’s club managed by Penn National Gaming, the casino’s operator but not its owner. It has five tier levels, and at this time, spending $5 will earn you one point. There is a $5 minimum redemption policy.
Tier level point requirements are:
- Choice for new guests
- Advantage for those who have earned 1,000 points
- Preferred after earning 18,000 points
- Elite after earning 50,000 points
- The Owners Club after earning 200,000 points.
Twice, I have reached Elite status but am not currently.
I’ve just spent 2 hours playing slots at Hollywood Lawrenceburg. I walked in with a $300 bankroll in my wallet and left with half that, or $153. I already had a players club card but haven’t used it in more than a year.
Because all points are zeroed out annually each April for everyone, I was back down to the first-tier level, called Choice, with zero points when I started my session. When I left two hours later, I had 192 points.
At the cost of $5 per club point, I spent $960 today at Hollywood Lawrenceburg. However, I paid $147 as my bankroll dropped from $300 to $153. Meaning, I cycled by bankroll about three times.
My Hollywood Lawrenceburg Slots Experience
Upon arrival, I spoke with a casino employee at the cashier’s cage who informed me that Hollywood Lawrenceburg is no longer a riverboat casino but rather a modern casino with a central server. Meaning, slot machines have their odds of winning updated at any time rather than only when serviced by a slot mechanic.
The first and most notable feature about Hollywood Lawrenceburg is how far apart groups of slot machines are from each other. Twenty to thirty feet apart is typical. Unless located along a wall, most slot machines are set up as circular carousels.
What does this mean in terms of my winning slots strategies? Strategy 9: Location, Location, Location is hard to implement. With twenty to thirty feet between carousels and slots rows along the walls when walking down wide walkways, nearly every machine is visible from a distance.
But we’ll come back to that strategy in a moment. After walking in, I tested my 5-spin strategy on slots machines while my eyes and ears calibrated to what I saw and heard in this casino environment.
I made minimum bets on twenty slot machines. All machines were prominently displayed like most others in this former riverboat casino. Of these twenty machines, I won within the first five bets on 16 of them. That’s great.
Hollywood Lawrenceburg has the 5-spin method but noticed immediately returns were terrible. I started with $100 and, after playing twenty machines, I had $71.66. That makes my player win% 72%, and the casino hold percent 18%. Most of my wins were only a few cents.
Testing the 5-spin method took about half an hour. But I’d noticed that one particularly prominent slot machine gave me a great win when trying out my 5-spin method. Upon completing my test of twenty machines, I decided to investigate if one of the machines was also a winner because of its great return.
Yes, I walked the casino, but all I saw were highly visible machines, and no hand pays. But this slot machine was an opportunity, so I played it. And I won on it over and over again.
This Dragon Emblem slot machine is in a 5-machine carousel with no other machines or carousels within twenty feet. This particular machine I played directly faces The Celebrity table game and Sunset bar area.
From 1:10 p.m. until precisely 2 p.m., I won bonus round after bonus round. Starting with my $200 bankroll, I made minimum 90-cent bets on this penny machine and exceeded a $300 bankroll several times. At 2 p.m., the bonus rounds mostly stopped happening, and direct wins became few and far between.
I continued to play for another 30 minutes because I’d planned for a 2-hour session. During this last half hour, I tried switching bet size to the mid-range offered, $2.70 per bet, then maximum bets of $4.50. I also inserted my remaining bankroll from the 5-pull test.
At my 2-hour deadline, I finished my session at half the bankroll I’d brought to the casino. My most significant wins with a minimum bet of 90-cents were $75.80, $81.32, and 86.14. For mid-range bets of $2.70, my biggest win was $114.06. At the maximum bet of $4.50, my most significant wins were $143.75, $108.85, and finally, my most significant win at $152.20 on my last bet of the day.
Summary of Hollywood Lawrenceburg
With that $152 win on a $4.50 bet, I ended my visit to Hollywood Lawrenceburg. If you plan to visit this former riverboat casino yourself, I hope these details help you locate this winning machine. But please, remember to watch for sudden drops in its winning odds at precisely the top of the hour, especially at 2 p.m. on a Sunday.