Slots (still) top game on Vegas Strip

Jul 22, 2008 7:02 PM

By GT Staff | Slot machines continue to be the most popular game in Las Vegas casinos, according to the Las Vegas Convention & Visitors Authority latest visitor profile, which also revealed slots have actually increased the gap over blackjack, the next most popular casino game.

About 65 percent of casino customers polled said their game of choice was slot machines, up from 59 percent surveyed two years ago.

Helping to fuel the popularity of slot machines has been the proliferation of new penny slots, usually high-tech video marvels that often hold double the amount of other slots.

Only 14 percent of casino players chose blackjack, down from 18 percent two years ago.

If you add to the slots total the 6 percent who chose video poker as their favorite game, the disparity between electronic games and "live" games is even greater.

Other table games – baccarat, Three Card Poker, roulette and pai gow, to name a few – were chosen by 8 percent of players, an increase of 2 percent over 2005.

Craps, however, saw its support slip to 4 percent, down from 5 percent four years ago.

Race and sports betting, along with poker, were popular among about 2 percent of those surveyed.

The poll results loosely mirror the actual gaming revenue raked in by Las Vegas casinos. Slots, of course, are king, accounting for nearly 66 percent of the total gaming win.

Blackjack accounts for about 10.8 percent of the total, with baccarat not far behind at 8.3 percent.

Craps tables generate just under 4 percent of all revenue, while other table games rake in 5.5 percent.

Race and sports account for about 2 percent of all revenue, while poker rooms take in about 1.3 percent, an amount based on the "rake" or fee taken from every pot.

The poll results underscore the wide variety of casino options offered by Las Vegas casinos, which aren’t available to players outside Nevada.

For instance, many casinos outside the state don’t offer craps or baccarat, sports betting or other specialty games such as pai gow or keno.

There are also states which feature poker parlors where nothing else is played.

The differences are reflected in a national survey of the most popular casino games conducted by the American Gaming Association. Slots are still the most popular, but only with 56 percent of the casino customers polled.

Blackjack – which is often the only table game offered outside of Nevada – was chosen by 24 percent of those surveyed, with poker receiving 8 percent support.

The only other games chosen by players as their "favorite" were craps and roulette, which received support from 6 percent and 4 percent of those polled, respectively.

The AGA survey reported that the last three games – poker, craps and roulette – were the only ones to receive increased support over last year’s survey.