Introduction to Louisiana Slots Return-To-Player
A big concern for slots enthusiasts is if casinos are trying to “get back their lost gaming revenue” by reducing their return-to-player (RTP). But is that true, state-by-state? Let’s look closely at the Louisiana Slots Return-To-Player for their commercial casinos.
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Louisiana’s Gaming Industry: An Overview
Louisiana has nineteen commercial casinos, four tribal casinos, and numerous small businesses across Louisiana.
Louisiana has had a long history of illegal casinos, with the state alternating between raiding illegal casino operations and ignoring them. Eventually, pari-mutuel wagering received state-approval in the 1920s. Next, the collapse of the state’s oil-based industry in the 1980s led to the extended presence of legalized gambling.
Louisiana legalized riverboat casinos in 1991 along with the return of the state lottery. In 1992, an additional provision allowed a land-based casino in New Orleans.
In 1993, negotiations began to create state-tribal compacts with Louisiana’s three federally recognized American Indian tribes. A fourth American Indian tribe, federally recognized in 2002, also successfully negotiated a state-tribal compact.
In 1997, efforts by the three pari-mutuel racetracks to add slot machines to their facilities were successful. Later, a fourth track received similar approval.
Somewhat accidentally, an ambiguous definition for “truck stops” in state gaming regulations allowed the addition and spread of video gaming devices (VGD), typically offering versions of video poker, at many small businesses throughout the state.
Louisiana’s Return Statistics for Slots
Louisiana has theoretical payout limits for commercial casinos and business retailers with VGDs.
Louisiana’s theoretical payout limits are:
- Commercial casinos: 80% to 99.9%
- Retailer VGDs: 80% to 94%
The Louisiana State Police’s Gaming Enforcement Division offers monthly return statistics by slot machine denomination for all commercial casinos in each of four state regions at Slot Payout Summary.
These four state regions have the following casinos:
- Baton Rouge Region: Belle of Baton Rouge, Evangeline Downs, Hollywood, and L’auberge Baton Rouge.
- Lake Charles Region: Delta Downs, Golden Nugget, Isle of Capri, and L’Auberge Lake Charles.
- New Orleans Region: Amelia Belle, Boomtown New Orleans, Fair Grounds, Harrah’s, and Treasure Chest.
- Shreveport/Bossier Region: Boomtown Bossier, Eldorado, Harrah’s LA Downs, Horseshoe, Margaritaville, and Sam’s Town.
Monthly Player Win Percentages
The return statistics for Louisiana go back to January 2008. I’ve plotted below the monthly player win percentages at Louisiana state regions from the beginning of 2021 to the latest available.
All Louisiana regions have player win percentage from about 89.5% to 91.3%. This range of 1.8% for monthly player win percentage in the last fifteen months of returns is nearly half the usual range when compared to other state returns-to-player.
All state regions were quite consistent for the first few months of 2021, after two state regions diverged and the other two remained consistent with each other. Since April 2021, Lake Charles went high and Shreveport /Bossier went low. And Baton Rouge and New Orleans moved together until December 2021.
In the following video, I’ve highlighted the colored line for each state region with their monthly return statistics.
The return data shows the Shreveport/Bossier state region to have consistently odds of winning for the last ten months but tied with the New Orleans state region at the lowest return for the last two months. Since the beginning of 2022, the highest returns have been tied for the Baton Rouge and Lake Charles state regions.
Summary of Louisiana Slots Return-To-Player
Louisiana state regions carefully manage their player win percentage. Because returns are reported to the state of Louisiana, savvy slots enthusiasts can choose a region with better return-to-player than their neighboring state regions.
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