Slot Payback

New York Casino Slot Payback, Fiscal Years 2019-2022

Empire City Casino external
Written by Joshua

Our review of game paybacks takes us this time to New York, which is a weird state in that there’s a variety of gaming types, all within one state.

Payback data is available for their four commercial casinos (which offer Vegas-style slots), and the racinos and casinos under New York Lottery, which work closer to a scratch-off model where there’s a predetermined number of winners and losers. There are also tribal gaming facilities, which are not required to report their payback information to the state, and those facilities can contain Class II (Bingo Machines) or Class III (Vegas-style slots) depending on the establishment.

Data is available per casino per month overall, and a fiscal year is from April 1 of one year through March 31 of the following year. The data here will cover fiscal years 2019-2022; the year reflected is the end of the fiscal year, so fiscal year 2022 is April 1, 2021 through March 31, 2022.

Commercial Casinos

Commercial casinos have Vegas-style slots and table games; they are located upstate, with downstate commercial casinos expected to come online in the coming years.

Here is the payback data for fiscal years 2019-2022 for the four commercial casinos in New York:

Tioga Downs91.68%91.57%91.61%91.62%
Del Lago90.91%90.83%90.72%90.94%
Rivers Schenectady90.74%90.77%90.58%90.50%
Resorts World Catskills90.88%90.93%90.73%91.40%
SOURCE: New York State Gaming Commission

Some observations:

  • With the exception of the Resorts World Catskills 2019 data, all four casinos seem to be pretty steady. Tioga Downs appears to be a a half point to three fourths of a point higher consistently.
  • Tioga Downs used to be a Lottery-overseen facility before converting to commercial gaming. The higher paybacks may be linked to that era, as you’ll see the difference in paybacks once we get to the racinos.

Racinos/Video Gaming Machines

Video Gaming Machines as operated under the jurisdiction of the New York Lottery take place at a number of facilities in the state. Video Gaming Machines must pay back “no less than 90 percent of sales” and work similar to scratch-off tickets, with a predetermined number of winning and losing tickets.

Outcomes are displayed on machines that look like slots, but don’t operate like them. This also means that video poker works similarly, and therefore is not skill-based like traditional video poker. Electronic table games also follow this model.

Here is the payback data for fiscal years 2019-2022 for the New York Lottery-sanctioned casinos in New York:

Jake’s 5893.71%93.91%93.78%93.72%
Batavia Downs91.68%91.75%91.62%91.66%
Vernon Downs91.74%91.55%91.75%91.74%
Hamburg Gaming91.80%91.75%91.59%91.66%
Finger Lakes92.11%92.16%92.10%92.12%
Empire City93.13%93.34%93.13%93.06%
Resorts World NYC92.32%92.38%93.40%94.16%
SOURCE: New York State Gaming Commission

Some observations:

  • The overall paybacks here beat the commercial casinos. Having a requirement that all games payout at least 90 percent, including the penny denomination machines that in most commercial casinos would be set under 90 percent (and as seen in other states’ denomination-based payback reporting), likely pulls the average up accordingly.
  • Also likely to pull up the overall payback: The inclusion of electronic table games, since all electronic machines are folded in under this payout data.
  • Certain facilities seem to pay better on a regular basis, such as Jake’s 58, Empire City and Resorts World NYC. However, this could be due to a stronger mix of electronic table games than at other facilities, pulling the averages up accordingly.

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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