Resorts World New York ranks No. 1 in author’s study

Not only is Resorts World New York City producing stellar revenues for its parent company, but gamblers at the Queens facility are leaving there with a higher percentage of coin in their pockets.

So reports Steve Bourie, publisher of The American Casino Guide, in his recent video on payback percentages. His two-part series, titled “Where are the Loosest Slots?” is available at

Thanks to the internet age, casino figures have become much more accessible. Usually one click gets you the revenues, taxes paid and payback percentages of casinos across an entire state. Bourie, who has for 25 years published a guide on casino amenities, locations and included select coupons, did the legwork, as he has for 20 years.

“I used to have to request them by phone, then wait for states to mail them to me,” he says, noting that the task was somewhat easier because there were fewer states with casinos.

This year he found that Resorts World, the casino based at Aqueduct Racetrack, returned 95.05 cents on each dollar wagered, but of course there’s a reason: New York doesn’t allow live table games, and more than 1,000 seats at Resorts World are for electronic roulette, blackjack and baccarat. (If you ever visit there, you’ll see banks of roulette stations for one electronic ball; most such games have only a handful of seats. And even the exclusive high roller suites and rooms are set up for players to wager on electronic table games.) Those games have a higher payback percentage – often as high as 99 percent — than your run-of-the-mill slot machine, so they skew the payback math.

Bourie also notes that New York slots are lottery-based, meaning there is a predetermined number of winners and losers, similar to scratch-off tickets.

“So if you like to play video poker, you should be aware that there is no skill in these games and the results are determined purely by chance,” he says in the video.

Open less than five years, Resorts World currently has 5,500 electronic gaming machines, but announced in July a $400 million expansion plan that would add 1,000 gaming positions and a 400-room hotel by 2019.

Similarly, electronic table games are part of the reason Magic City Casino in Miami has vaulted to No. 2 overall on Bourie’s list. The casino paid back 93.88 percent, according to his most recent statistics (through June 30, 2015). But there’s also the game that’s a South Florida phenomenon: Diamond Lotto. The area has a large number of patrons from Cuban and other Latin American countries, and many of those players grew up on lottery-type games. Diamond Lotto lets players pick six numbers and pays out based on how many correct choices are made. Like electronic table games, Diamond Lotto, too, has a higher than usual payback percentage.

Bourie notes that payback information from Native American casinos is not available, except for the two tribes that pay taxes based on revenue in Connecticut: Foxwoods was at 91.87 percent and Mohegan Sun was 91.73.

He also points out that five states give out info just by the area of their casinos and not by each place. (Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Dakota and Nevada). That said, it’s worth noting that Reno casinos paid out at 94.86 percent and Sparks, just east of Reno, was at 95.18. So the math dictates that actually at least one casino in Sparks has Resorts World Aqueduct beat.

The casino with the lowest revenues was Harrah’s Metropolis, a riverboat deep in Southern Illinois that paid back 89.03 percent.

As public interest has shifted from consuming information via print to more electronic options, Bourie has altered his game. He now offers a monthly consumer video at his site, which has drawn more than 13 million views, and has a phone app that gives detailed information on more than 700 casinos in 42 states.

Twitter: @NickSortal