Myths vs. Reality

Do Casinos Change Payouts Because of Upcoming Events Like Debt Payments?

Mohegan Sun overhead slot floor
Written by Joshua

On a local casino forum, someone came in with a doozy of a theory:

[A specific casino] has a large debt payment due at the end of this month. Hence, why the machines have been tighter.

Do the casinos tighten up machines because they’ve got some debt to pay off in a few weeks?


First of all, most businesses aren’t going to be waiting until the last minute to figure out their debt servicing – that’d be very irresponsible and risky, for an industry that tends to be pretty risk averse when it comes to that sort of thing.

The casino in question had actually refinanced their debt months before, pushing their next sizable payment out an additional 18 months, which makes a lot more sense.

But to be half way through a month and having a debt payment in two weeks, so they should tighten up the machines to make that money, doesn’t really hold water.

For one, this casino was in a market that reported their payback data and revenues, and they remained in a half percentage point range that they’d been in for well over a decade now.

Second, the casino’s net revenues by quarter would indicate it would take a lot more than payback tinkering to cover the debt payment given the size it was, if it was going to be achieved solely on slot payout changes.

This just falls into the bucket of people attempting to connect dots that might sound logical on the surface, but fall apart on the simplest of scrutiny.

Folks, I hope it’s clear at this point that it’s easy to create random theories about how the casinos are going to screw you over for A or B. They don’t need to do this. They are already well set up to extract lots of cash based on the way the games are designed already.

They don’t need to bump payouts down or up to satisfy some random short term goal like a quarterly revenue target or a debt payment – they set it and forget it because they can do long term projections, figure out what they need, and set up the floor based on what they want to accomplish.

As players, we can use the information out there, such as payback over time, to make decisions about where we want to play.

For those who don’t trust the casino, I simply repeat my mantra – if you don’t trust the casino, why spend your money there?

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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