Mark, there's one thing your source said that leads me to question
his/her credibility. I cannot believe that the Indians are returning
"a shade less than 50%" to their machine players. To
do so would result in the vast majority of players losing their
entire bankrolls very quickly, very consistently, and people would
stop coming. Most (if not all) of the Indian casinos are managed
by companies that know the casino business inside and out. I doubt
that they would run a casino with machines that don't give the
players a reasonable chance of winning now and then. My guess
is that the Indian casinos offer a return of close to 90%. Anything
much less would drive customers off before long.
Just as a side note, the VLTs at the 'racinos' in New York State are set at 92% payback.