What Are the Odds?

800px-CrapsAs it turns out, the bulk of casino revenue really does come from a small group of big spenders, aka whales. Thanks to analysis recently made public by Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PLC, we now know that 10.7 percent of gamers provide 80 percent of a casino’s take, at least when it came to online games like blackjack and roulette. The data also prove the point that the longer you play, the more likely you lose. What’s that line from Casino?

[T]he cardinal rule is to keep them playing and to keep them coming back. The longer they play, the more they lose, and in the end, we get it all.

Mark Maremont and Alexandra Berzon of the Wall Street Journal break it down:

On any given day, the chances of emerging a winner aren’t too bad—the gamblers won money on 30% of the days they wagered. But continuing to gamble is a bad bet. Just 11% of players ended up in the black over the full period, and most of those pocketed less than $150.

The skew was even more pronounced when it came to heavy gamblers. Of the top 10% of bettors—those placing the largest number of total wagers over the two years—about 95% ended up losing money, some dropping tens of thousands of dollars. Big losers of more than $5,000 among these heavy gamblers outnumbered big winners by a staggering 128 to 1.

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