Playing slot machines online or at the local casino?

There are no mandatory payout rates for machines at bars, restaurants or arcades. Payout rates range from 30% at the low end to 75% or 80% at the upper end. Losses at machines in arcades are limited by the hour, usually at around €80. Once the limit has been reached, the slot machine in question is automatically blocked until the beginning of the next hour. In practice, this frequently occurs even with low bets (20 cents per spin).

Winnings are limited at arcades, too. That limit is often as low as €500 per hour. If a player wins a larger amount, they will have to wait till the next hour to continue playing. Nor do stationary machines offer attractive jackpots. As a result, huge profits aren’t really possible.

Offline Casino

Manipulated machines?

Manipulating machines is of little use to manufacturers. Machines have to distribute winnings randomly. However, the odds of winning are five times lower than at large online casinos. Consequently, bets being the same, the long-term losses are five times higher as well.

Winnings and payouts at online casinos

There is no difference to normal slot machines in terms of winning chances and design. Here as well, wins are random. Most online casinos are as regulated as strictly as large casinos. Online casinos that hold an official licence can be considered safe.

Online casinos have no way of influencing individual games, either. Their software is developed and supplied to them by external companies (e.g. Microgaming, Novomatic, Merkur, Netent). Games run on the developers’ servers so that individual casinos cannot influence them. Basically, the online casino only takes care of customer support and business aspects including deposits and payouts.

Online casinos’ payout rate is typically around 95%. That might seem like a high value, but the large number of players means it is actually relatively low. It means that a casino receives a share of 5% per game. Thanks to the large number of deposits, casinos make a good profit even at 5%. Again, there is no reason for either software producers or providers to manipulate.


Online casino operators put a great emphasis on security. Manipulation is almost impossible in the online gambling industry. At online casinos, winning large amounts of money in a short time are possible. Moreover, there is the prospect of winning huge jackpots. But money can be lost just as fast. Online, the average loss per game is 5%, compared with 25% at arcades. That’s a pretty big difference, we say. Seen that way, playing at online slots is five times less expensive than at stationary machines. Losses also depend on players’ individual behaviour, of course. Players who become reckless and place very high bets may incur higher losses online, too.

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