No surprise, the economy has hit blackjack.
It seems that seems that blackjack revenue has fallen 20% since last year. And it had already fallen 12% in 2008.
Normally blackjack brings in around $1 billion in Nevada. But last year it fell to the income level it had in the late 1990’s: around $996 million.
So why is that?
This should be a very popular casino game. After all it is one of two games of skill offered in casinos, meaning that, through strategy use, players can impact their odds. A blackjack player that uses basic strategy can lower the house edge to 0.5%
So if players can impact this casino game so much, why is blackjack revenue on a downward swing?
It’s simple. The casinos got greedy. Knowing that blackjack is one of their most popular games and that players can impact the odds (read: win more from the casino) they started changing the rules.
They began implementing 6:5 payout games. They tried to lure in blackjack players by making these single deck games. But the smaller payout increases the house edge. Blackjack players are not stupid. Once they figured out what the casinos were up to, they quit playing those games.
Another attempt on the casinos’ parts to squeeze more money out of players was to offer more blackjack variations with side bets. And side bets we all know cause the casino to take your money faster. Again, blackjack players have figured this one out, and have begun avoiding those tables.
There is also the increase in playing blackjack online. Those who play online don’t have to worry about travel and accommodation expenses. They can sit in the PJs at home and play.
Payouts in online blackjack tend to be higher since online casinos don’t have the overhead to worry about paying. Online casinos don’t require as great of a profit to keep themselves running. With smaller expenses they can payout more and more often. Blackjack players have figured this out too. And many are now playing blackjack online it has hit land-based casinos even harder.
But blackjack players aren’t stupid. We want to win. And when we know that The Man is trying to pull more of our money out of our pockets (money that’s already more dear to us), we will take our money and patronage elsewhere.