Ontario. A huge casino complex is slated for London, Ontario. Reports indicate that the company Gateway Casinos and Entertainment has singed an agreement called the Southwest Gaming Bundle. The concept is a $200-million investment by the nation’s largest gaming company. The agreement for the London mega-complex is a 20-year deal.
Greece. According to published reports, there has been a quick rise in the number of illegal gambling facilities in Greece. The government agency that oversees gaming in that ancient country, the EEEP, says that nearly 500 illegal sites were raided in a twelve-month period. Some 15-hundred people were arrested. Some observers say that the downturn in the Greek economy has fueled the illegal practices.
Malta. It is a rather small country, consisting of three islands off the southern coast of Italy. It thrives on tourism. Recently, this normally quiet nation saw its gambling regulators take quick and well-publicized action against a large gaming entity. Government reports show that the online gaming company Random Games has been told to cease operations. Random is based in the UK.
Taiwan. While Malta was shutting down an online gaming group in that country, Taiwan was taking similar actions. According to a press release from the regulators there, Taiwan has shut down a so-called “underground” sports-betting operation. The operation made most of its money by allowing locations to bet on European football games.
France. French gaming organization Groupe Tranchant is going ahead with a major move of one of its facilities. The relocation comes in the wake of the decision by the Pyrenees-Atlantiques Council. That legislative body gave the go-ahead for Groupe Tranchant to relocate its gaming facility in the sprawling Palais Beaumont to another location. The new project is in a commercial area to the north
New Zealand. The latest figures from New Zealand show a slow rise in money being spent at that nation’s casinos by tourists. According to government regulators, during a recent month, visitor rates at New Zealand gaming facilities were up more than two-and-a-half percent.
A reader writes: “I read where you recommend playing a single zero rather than double 0 roulette game because the casino edge is lower. I normally bet $5 to $10 per spin, but my local casino only offers $25 minimum single zero games. Should I increase my betting level to take advantage of the better odds?”
In order to answer the reader’s question, you need to consider not only the difference in the casino’s edge, but also the amount bet. It’s a fact that the casino’s edge is higher on a double 0 wheel rather than a single 0 wheel. The casino’s edge is 5.26% on the American wheel for all roulette bets (except the bet on 0, 00, 1, 2, 3, which is higher). On a single 0 wheel (also known as a European wheel), the lack of one 0 reduces the casinos edge on all bets to 2.63%. At first glance making a bet on a single 0 wheel appears to be the better choice than betting on a double 0 wheel because the casino’s edge is lower.
However, comparing the casino’s edge of one bet to another without considering the amount of the bet is dangerous. What you must do is factor the amount of the bet to calculate your average cost per bet. The latter is simply the amount bet times the casino’s edge.
Let’s take the example of betting $5 per spin on the double 0 wheel. For our calculations it doesn’t matter whether you make one single $5 straight up bet on the inside or outside of the layout or make five different $1 bets on the inside of the layout. The result is the same. If your total bet per spin is $5 and the bet has a casino advantage of 5.26% then your average cost to make that bet is 26 cents ($5 times 5.26%). Likewise, if you had a total of $10 bet per spin, your average cost is 52 cents ($10 times 5.26%).
What does the “average cost mean?” It’s simply a measure of how much money the casino expects to win on every $5 (or $10) bet in roulette over time. Obviously on any one spin you will either win more than $5 or lose the entire $5, but over time you can expect to lose an amount of money equal to the total amount bet times the casino’s edge (i.e., your cost for playing). In the short term, you could be ahead (due to volatility), but if you continue to play roulette on an unbiased wheel, the casino’s edge will eventually overtake the short-term volatility. The casinos bank on this fact every day that they are in business.
Let’s calculate the average cost for making a $25 bet on a single 0 wheel (casino edge is 2.7%). If you do the math, the average cost is 66 cents. This is 40 cents more expensive than making the $5 bet on double 0 wheel and 14 cents more expensive than betting $10 per spin.
The bottom line is that on a per bet basis it will cost you less money over the long haul if you bet $5 (or even $10) per spin on a double 0 wheel compared to betting $25 per spin on the single 0 wheel, even with its lower casino edge. The comparison gets even worse when you consider the number of spins per hour. Normally at a crowded $5 (or $10) minimum bet double 0 table, you will average about 30 spins per hour. On less crowded $25 minimum single 0 tables, you are more likely to average 40 to 50 spins per hour. If we use 45 spins per hour as an average, a player’s average hourly cost to play roulette for the $5 bettor on double 0 wheel compared to a $25 per spin bettor on single 0 wheel is:
$5 per spin multiplied by the 5.26% casino edge X 30 spins per hour = $7.89 per hour cost
$25 multiplied by the 2.7% casino edge X 45 spins per hour = $30.37 per hour cost.
Notice the cost per hour on the single 0 wheel is 2.8 times more than double 0 wheel. The reason is the more spins per hour and the higher betting level. These two factors more than compensate for the lower casino edge on the single 0 game. Therefore, when comparing the merits of making one bet to another in a casino don’t just compare the casino’s edge. Factor in also the bet size and the number of decisions per hour to get the true picture what the bet will cost you.
Henry Tamburin is the editor of Blackjack Insider Newsletter (www.bjinsider.com), Lead Instructor for the Golden Touch Blackjack Course (www.goldentouchblackjack.com), and host of www.smartgaming.com. For a FREE three-month subscription to his blackjack newsletter, go to www.bjinsider.com/freetrial.com. To receive his FREE Casino Gambling Catalog, call 1-888-353-3234 or visit www.smartgaming.com.
Lucky Lotto News: Prices Go Up, Odds Go Down
Mega Price Hike
Five years after Powerball ticket prices were increased to $2, the multi-state Mega Millions game is following suit. Mega Millions tickets will increase from $1 to $2 later this year, and the odds of winning the jackpot will decrease. The move is meant to boost headline-grabbing jackpots for the multi-state lottery game, which is offered in more than 40 states. Mega Millions will make the price change and tweaks to the game for the October 31 drawing. The rule-changes will have players pick from 70 numbers for the first set of picks, and 25 numbers for the second. Currently, players pick from 75 and 15 numbers, respectively. The changes will alter the probability of winning, making it harder to win the jackpot, but easier to win the second prize. Chances of winning the jackpot will decrease from 1 in 258.9 million to 1 in 302.6 million, while the chance of winning any prize—which will run from $2 to the jackpot—will go from 1 in 14.71 to 1 in 24. The second-place, $1 million prize will get easier to win: From 1 in 18.5 million to 1 in 12.6 million.
A $2 Mega Millions lottery ticket has netted David Trapp of Laguna Hills, California, a $61 million jackpot. Trapp, a longtime player, won with the numbers 6-13-18-20-31 and Mega number 13. He used the birthdays of family members as his numbers.
“It really hasn’t sunk in,” he said. “It’s either real or a very long and detailed dream.” At press time Trapp, who’d previously won a California Lottery high of $480, had not yet decided whether to receive his winning spread out in annual payments over 30 years or $37.2 million right away.
Lottery Sales Questioned
A new survey has revealed that close to 70% of voters in the state of Massachusetts do not support legislation to allow the state lottery to sell tickets online. Just 5% said they support expanding the lottery to include Internet games “very” strongly, the survey found, while 7% said they support the proposal “somewhat” strongly. The survey was conducted by Princeton Research Associates on behalf of a coalition of business owners who fear they will suffer if lawmakers allow online lottery sales. In 2016, a bill to allow online lottery sales passed the state Senate but failed in the House.
Soldier’s Wild Bananza
An Army soldier based in Fort Drum has won a $5 million New York Lottery jackpot. Jesse Vonderhorst, 36, bought the winning scratch-off ticket at a gas station in Watertown, New York. Vonderhorst, who’s from Vancouver, Washington, stopped to gas up his car and decided to try his luck on a New York Lottery $25 Wild Bonanza Multiplier ticket. He plans to use his winnings to help his three daughters and take a family vacation.