Know the facts: gambling risks and returns

Do you know the rules and odds of winning for each of the gambling activities at your venue?As a gaming employee you are required to assist patrons understand the rules of gambling activities and the odds of winning. Of course responsible service of gambling doesn’t require you to memorise the odds of every poker machine or keno combination, but this blog post will give you a broad overview.

A player information guide with the odds of winning each gambling activity should be at your venue and available to players.

Know the facts of gambling

The odds of winning differ for different types of gambling activities, but one element stays the same – the odds always favour the house.

In Queensland clubs and hotels, poker machines (also known as Electronic Gaming Machines or EGM’s) return between 85% and 92% of the amount bet back to the gambler. This means that on average 8 to15% of all money bet is retained by gambling venues.

 An 85% return means that for every dollar placed in a poker machine, 85 cents is typically returned to the gambler over the life of the machine (usually 3-4 years). A player can’t expect to receive 85 cents for every dollar bet in a single gaming session.

In sports and racing betting, the odds change depending on the team or horse, past performances and conditions on the day. The TAB or sports betting agency will display the odds.

For lottery products, Golden Casket has information available through newsagents and on the Golden Casket website advising the odds of winning for lottery products such as Gold Lotto, Powerball and Scratch-its.

Casinos provide information on each of their table games and gaming machines. Brochures are available at the customer information desk and online if you would like to find out more.

 Odds of winning

  • Odds of winning 1st division in Gold Lotto (1 game) – 1 in 8,145,060
  • Odds of winning top prize on a poker machine (playing maximum lines) – up to 1 in 7,000,000
  • Odds of winning 1st division in Powerball (1 game) – 1 in 54,979,155
  • Odds of picking the trifecta in a 13 horse race – 1 in 1,716
  • Odds of winning the 10 number jackpot on Keno (1 game) – 1 in 8,911,711

The truth about gaming machines

You can never predict how each play on a gaming machine will end and none of these factors make a difference:

  • the last time the machine paid out
  • anything you or anyone else does to the machine
  • how much you bet
  • how long you have been playing
  • past and future plays
  • the time of day.

Player information displays

Most new gaming machines installed in Queensland have a player information display.

The Player Information Display screen gives the following information:

  • the symbol(s) which has the highest paying prize and the amount of the maximum prize
  • the number of lines you will need to play and the required bet per line to win the maximum prize
  • how much you will spend each game if you make this choice
  • on average, how much you will spend per minute and per hour
  • the odds of winning the maximum prize.

Ensure that you know the location of the player information guides and odds of winning at your venue. The Responsible Service of Gambling training course provides you with detailed information to help you fulfil your duties as a gaming employee on working licensed premises.