Casinos losing big to skilled video poker players

20 March 2024

(PRESS RELEASE) -- Acres Manufacturing Company, a leading casino loyalty and technology developer, today released a case study powered by its Video Poker Analyzer product, which reveals the identity and lost-profit impact of highly skilled video poker players, known to the industry as Advantage Players. The case study, which is based on the evaluation of over three million hands played by over one thousand identified carded players, highlights the ability of a small population of APs to reliably beat the casino and attract a disproportionate share of loyalty program offers.

VPA's analysis of video poker play at a Las Vegas locals casino with heavy video poker play found that APs make up roughly 1% of the casino's player population. Collectively, these players caused a loss to the casino equivalent to 25.64% of its carded win on video poker during the period of the study. Furthermore, over two-thirds of the APs profited from their play during the period. Because the group accounted for 26% of video poker coin-in, the casino's loyalty program rewarded each AP significantly more than higher margin players.

Video Poker Analyzer is powered by Acres' Foundation hardware, which is compatible with any modern slot machine and any casino management system. In each game of video poker, a five-card hand is dealt. The player then strategically decides which cards to hold and which to discard, with the goal of making a winning hand. VPA compares each player decision against the mathematically optimal strategy for any hand dealt. With each player error identified and assigned a dollar value, a skill rating can be assigned to help predict the casino's profit and loss each time the carded player returns.

"Our Video Poker Analyzer case study reveals the true threat APs impose on casino profitability and their impact on the efficacy of player reinvestment through the casino's loyalty program," said Noah Acres. "By clearly identifying APs, Acres enables casinos to restrict their marketing offers and redeploy them to earn incremental play from more profitable lower-skilled players."

Through Acres' recent analysis and as its latest case study demonstrates, a casino operator deploying VPA may see more than a 45% upside to its video poker profits through a combination of excluding and reducing unprofitable APs from the active player base and through the redeployment of valuable marketing dollars to those players with the highest upside potential.

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