Slot Payback

Colorado Casino Slot Payback, Fiscal Years 2019-2022

Payback Percentage screen
Written by Joshua

Colorado is our next stop on the slot machine payback review state by state. Colorado is a lot like Nevada in that they do not release slot paybacks by an individual casino (it’s actually against their rules). Instead they release it by market.

The data is therefore grouped into three markets: Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Payback is released by denomination within each of these markets. Payback includes all electronic machines, which includes video keno and video poker.

Colorado works on a July 1-June 30 fiscal year, so the years listed are the end of each fiscal year (ex: 2022 is the fiscal year from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022).

Black Hawk

Here is Black Hawk’s overall slot machine payback by denomination for the fiscal years 2019-2022:

1 cent89.92%89.86%90.22%89.80%
5 cent93.15%93.59%93.66%92.85%
10 cent93.24%93.88%95.27%94.71%
25 cent92.28%92.19%91.95%92.30%
50 cent93.30%93.95%94.63%93.95%
High denom94.76%94.41%94.30%93.48%
SOURCE: Colorado Department of Revenue

One thing that’s pretty unusual and interesting specifically about Black Hawk is how tight the percentages are everywhere from 5 cent all the way up to $5. Penny slots pay 2-4 percent below the rest of the range. Normally the advice is play a higher denomination to get a better payback, but you might not need to go all that high.

And penny denomination pulls the overall average down by more than 1 percent in any given year, due to the high concentration of those games at a lower payback.

Central City

Here is Central City’s overall slot machine payback by denomination for the fiscal years 2019-2022:

1 cent90.37%90.68%90.40%90.43%
5 cent94.17%94.41%94.55%93.93%
25 cent93.91%93.91%93.89%94.06%
SOURCE: Colorado Department of Revenue

A similar scenario happens at Central City – everything above 1 cent is 3-4 percent higher than penny denomination, but the high proliferation of penny slot machines drags the overall average down a couple points. Playing higher denominations makes sense here as well.

Cripple Creek

Here is Cripple Creek’s overall slot machine payback by denomination for the fiscal years 2019-2022:

1 cent91.34%91.44%91.53%91.89%
5 cent92.54%92.03%92.85%93.50%
25 cent94.60%94.39%94.99%95.45%
50 cent92.74%93.03%92.63%94.17%
High denom94.70%94.08%94.95%94.75%
SOURCE: Colorado Department of Revenue

Cripple Creek has a bit more of a graduated steps, at least going from penny denomination to nickels, and then nickels to quarters, but beyond that they’re all in a bit of a range too, albeit a bit higher.

Cripple Creek’s overall payout percentages are higher, and given that penny slots pay higher here than the other two regions, that makes sense. But even the higher denominations are more in the 94-95% range vs. 93-94%, so it does appear out of the three markets that Cripple Creek has the edge on overall payouts.

That said, there does seem to be an overall trend downward over the course of a few years on the Cripple Creek region – pick a denomination and you can see the 2022 fiscal year is lower than 2019, and the overall average has slid down a half point.

Cripple Creek casino payouts are overall still ahead of the other two markets, but may not stay that way if those numbers keep sliding the next few years. The other two markets, by comparison, seem to have remained pretty steady.

About the author


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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