Although other casinos may reap more profits, no casino in the U.S. is more efficient at extracting money from gamblers than the Grand Victoria Casino in Elgin, Illinois. Bear Stearns & Co. calculates that Grand Victoria’s “win-per-position”–the average amount that each of the casino’s slot machines and game tables takes in–is about $804 per day.
“There’s nobody higher than that,” maintains Eric Hausler, Bear Stearns casino industry analyst. “Nobody’s close.” (The win-per-position at Las Vegas casinos typically runs between $200 and $300.) Grand Victoria’s success is not based on stingier slot machines or tougher dealers, but rather on customer volume.
There are only four casinos in the Chicago area, and Grand Victoria is the only casino north of the Eisenhower Expressway. “You have a few licenses in an incredibly populated, wealthy area,” explains David Anders, senior gaming analyst at Merrill Lynch. “You put those factors together and you can come up with some relatively large win-per-position numbers.” Grand Victoria is the envy of many in the casino industry. “It’s a gold mine,” says William Thompson, gambling expert at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.