WEB EXCLUSIVE: Get your first look inside the new Hard Rock Rocksino at Northfield Park.
CLEVELAND - One of the most frequent questions/comments I get when the issue of Ohio's casinos comes up in conversation (second to the status of the downtown Phase II casino) is about how loose or tight the slot machines are at the different properties.
Those who lost money complaining about how tight the machines are; those who won pledging undying allegiance to that particular property.
The fact is the casinos and racinos post each month how much out of every dollar you wager they keep and the reality is, when all's said and done it averages about 8 or 9 cents across the board.
For the month of August, all six properties offering slot/VLT play in Ohio were within 2 to 3 percent of each other.
Horseshoe Cincinnati was the loosest paying back 93.08 cents of every dollar wagered. Horseshoe Cleveland was next 92.84 cents, ThistleDown Racino was third at 92.78 cents.
The lowest at 90.99 cents was Hollywood Toledo.
For those who say the Horseshoe Cleveland slots are looser these days, they would be right by a percent or two compared to when they first opened moving from around a 90 cent payback on every dollar last year to close to 93 cents now.
Neither Ohio nor Pennsylvania break down the percentage of payout by denomination, penny slots vs. $1 slots for example, New Jersey does which gamblers can check out each month on the Division of Gaming website.
As a whole though they vary widely from casino to casino with no real pattern emerging looking at the most recent numbers released.
More casino coverage
The new Hard Rock Rocksino in Northfield Park features 2,300 slot machines as well as restaurants and live entertainment that keep with the Hard Rock theme.
The newest addition to Las Vegas' resurgent downtown announced itself this week with a marching band, a ribbon cutting and showgirls.
October numbers up for ThistleDown and Horseshoe over September.
The new walkway linking the Horseshoe Casino's parking garage to the second floor of the downtown gaming center is beginning to take shape.
September revenue numbers released Monday show the Horseshoe Casino Cleveland posting a slight revenue jump over August figures but down 8.4 percent over September 2012.