Bingo's Your Best Bet

Next time you walk past a bingo parlor you'd be foolish to make fun of the players.

Nevada casinos had a lower win percentage on bingo last year than any other gambling activity, according to data from the UNLV Center for Gaming Research.

Boulder Strip casinos along Boulder Highway aren't laughing. They actually lost a combined $795,000 on bingo in 2012, which translated to a 1.46 percent loss. Casinos statewide squeezed out a 3.16 percent win on bingo, meaning they won 3.16 cents of every dollar wagered.

On the other end of the spectrum was 3-Card Poker, which enabled casinos statewide to post a 31.04 percent win rate in 2012, just ahead of the 27.94 percent win for keno and 24.61 win rate for the poker-related card game Let It Ride.

Sports gamblers should take note that the win percentage for casinos on individual sports contests is much narrower -- generally in the 3 percent to 4 percent range -- than for parlay cards, where players combine two or more bets on a single ticket for a chance at a much higher payday. Nevada casinos won 23.33 cents on every dollar wagered on parlay cards last year.

Data from the gaming research center also shows that it does matter where one plays slot machines when it comes to win percentage. On average, Las Vegas Strip casinos recorded a higher win percentage on slots than anywhere else -- 7 percent -- from 2004 through 2012. Among Clark County properties, the Boulder Strip recorded the lowest slot win rate at 5.17 percent during the same time frame.


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