As a writer who has focused on various aspects of travel and gambling in Las Vegas, I am often asked by readers about different aspects of Sin City. Many people ask about the slot machines that can be found in stores all over Las Vegas. I always find myself answering their questions by stating that slot machines in Las Vegas stores are among the worst slot machines in all of Las Vegas.


Slot machines that are located inside of casinos are directly regulated in the state of Nevada. These slot machines are required to pay out a certain percentage of money that is taken in. Any casino that is found bending the rules of these regulations can face stiff fines, and eventually even have their gaming license suspended (or worse).

Las Vegas stores are not required to follow the strict regulations when it comes out to the payout percentage that the Las Vegas casinos have to follow. Instead, they are essentially able to have any payout percentage that they want.

Explanation of Payout Percentage

The higher a slot machine's payout percentage, the more you have a chance of winning from that machine. If a slot machine has a payout percentage of 91% (the required amount for Las Vegas casinos), that means that the slot machine will pay out $0.91 for every $1 that is taken in.

Remember, Las Vegas casino slot machines are not required to have this as their constant payout percentage. A machine must have this percentage throughout the life of the machine. So the percentage might be higher or lower at different parts of the lifespan of the machine. It just needs to hold this average throughout the lifespan.

Las Vegas Stores and Slot Machine Payout Percentages

Since Las Vegas stores do not have to follow the same regulations as the casinos, a store might have a machine that pays out as low as 40% of the overall take. From my personal experience, I have spoken to Las Vegas store owners that have stated that the few slot machines in their stores make up for a large percentage of their overall business.

Psychology of Las Vegas Store Slot Machines

Las Vegas stores know that there might be a chance that someone in your group will not be interested in being in that store at that time. This person might wander over to a slot machine in the store to pass the time hoping that they might make a hit while your party is wasting precious gambling time.

There are also often cases in which a person sees something that he or she might want, but does not have enough money to purchase it. Maybe, by putting five dollars in the Las Vegas store's slot machine, the amount of money needed could be won so that the item could be bought.

Keep these issues in mind the next time that you see slot machines in Las Vegas stores. Chances are good that those machines are there to take advantage of you. Unlike the regulated slot machines inside of casinos, these slot machines can take more advantage of you than you might think.