What to do with your Game Percentages?

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Times are tough! So what should you be doing about your game percentages?

A recent research project conducted in the USA, Australia and Mexico over several years, led by Anthony Lucas, a UNLV Hospitality College professor and former gaming industry operations analyst has confirmed that players, even the regulars, can’t really tell the difference between the return to player percentage (RTP%) on one game from that of another. Comparing pairs of identical games with different RTP%, their results contradict long-held beliefs by gaming managers about a player’s ability to detect differences in how much—and how often—a poker machine pays out.

There are two schools of thought: one is that if you reduce the RTP%, you gain more revenue from your machines. The other is that if you reduce it too far, your players don’t have as much fun and will move to a competitors venue where they win more often, and their money lasts longer.

In fact, this research confirms that it makes no difference – so what should we do?
These days very few percentages are offered for each game by manufacturers. In the case of Link games, and even SAP games with on-screen Grand and Major Jackpots, the difference in game percentages really only relates to the size of the jackpot start-up value.

So, when choosing jackpots on current games my recommendation is to pick the Grand Jackpot startup that best fits with your venue, and the types of players you have in your Club or Hotel. If they are solid players go with a bigger jackpot, or if they are local suburban players looking for entertainment, go with smaller jackpot start-ups. Ignore the RTP% issue and go with what fits your venue best.
However, you can still use this research to your advantage:

  • On older games, that are declining in popularity, ensure that any games that are “double ups” (i.e. you have more than one of the games still on your floor) are all offered at the same RTP%. Often the RTP %s on these games becomes unstructured over time as they are often converted in when the machine is already older.


  • Multigames have never been hugely successful in QLD, however, if you have older multigames, they are worth converting to single games instead or trading them out. On a 5-game pack, the RTP% is an average of all 5 games, so they can often operate outside of their carded percentage, leading to less than expected revenue for the venue, particularly if they aren’t very popular with low turnover.

If you would like more information on RTPs and how you can boost your gaming floor’s performance, please get in touch with Justine here.

About the Author

DWS is pleased to introduce Gaming Specialist and Consultant, Justine Channing, to the team.

Justine is an Executive Gaming Manager with over 30 years’ experience in the hospitality industry, has worked with prominent Australian Clubs and Hotel groups. She brings deep insights into gaming operations from her tenure with industry leaders like Aristocrat and IGT. Today, she leads a successful Gaming Specialist organisation, providing expertise in gaming analysis, revenue enhancement, and mentoring.

Additionally, Justine is a sought-after speaker at industry conferences and holds pivotal roles as Editor, co-owner, and Managing Director of The Drop.

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