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Study suggests that astute video poker players impede casino profits.

According to a recent study, a limited group of video poker players, referred to as advantage players (APs), possess the abilities to diminish casino profits.

Acres Manufacturing Company, a producer of cutting-edge customer loyalty technology and services for casino operators, utilized its Video Poker Analyzer tool to investigate how advantage players (APs) can frequently outperform the house, while also claiming a significant portion of loyalty rewards.

Collectively, these players caused a loss to the casino equivalent to 25.64% of its carded win on video poker during the period of the study,” according to Acres. “Furthermore, over two-thirds of the APs profited from their play during the period. Because the group accounted for 26% of video poker coin-in, the casino’s loyalty program rewarded each AP significantly more than higher margin players.”

Fortunately for casino operators, these players represent only 1% of their clientele. The Acres survey analyzed three million hands played by 1,000 advantage players (APs) in the Las Vegas locals market.

Video poker remains a stable source of profitability for casinos.

In fiscal 2023, Nevada casinos amassed nearly $30 billion in revenue, with slots and other gaming machines, including video poker, playing a significant role in gross gaming revenue (GGR), as is typically observed.

Gaming devices are favored by casino operators due to their higher profitability compared to table games, attributed to lower labor costs and overhead. Consequently, the industry has been incorporating more gaming devices, including video poker machines, often at the expense of table games.

In Las Vegas, video poker holds a prominent position at locals casinos, a fact well recognized by operators. Although only 1% of players are considered advantage players, it might be advantageous for the casino to manage the impact of excessive tier credits and points allocated to select players. These points can be exchanged for complimentary items on other revenue-generating services, such as food, beverages, and accommodations.

Technology plays a crucial role in identifying advantage players in video poker.

Just like in many other industries, technology plays an increasingly central role in casino gaming, particularly in enabling operators to compete more effectively with highly skilled video poker players.

Acres stated that its Video Poker Analyzer evaluates players’ decisions against the optimal strategy for each hand dealt. It then identifies any errors made by players, assigning these mistakes a monetary value. This process aids operators in better forecasting the profit and loss generated by individual bettors.

According to Acres, a casino operator utilizing the Video Poker Analyzer could potentially increase its video poker profits by more than 45%. This would be achieved through a combination of excluding and reducing unprofitable advantage players from the active player base, as well as reallocating valuable marketing funds to those players with the highest potential for increased profitability.