Did I Really Spend That Much? – Know Your Slots (2024)

Myths vs. Reality

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Did I Really Spend That Much? – Know Your Slots (1)

I’ve received a couple of questions around win/loss reporting recently, and tax season is getting underway, so it seems like a good time to revisit these topics. Here are the questions I received:

I’m trying to understand my win/loss statement from San Manuel in California.It states coins out + jackpot pay out – coins in = a loss in my case. According to them I have over a million dollars in coin in. There is no way in the world I put in a million dollars during a year in to the slots.

Please explain this so I can explain it to my tax preparer. I am going to be writing off my losses (obviously more than my wins) but I don’t understand my win loss statement. Help

And this one:

I got a win/loss statement from a casino and they say money in 80,000+ and money out 70,000+. I did not ever play 80,000 in one year. I do not even have that kind of money. How did they figure it?

This is a common confusion point for many players. So let’s start by going back to the definition of coin-in/coin-out previously posted on the site:

Coin-in, simply speaking, is the total amount of bets made. Let's say you pick a slot machine and bet $1 per spin and do 100 spins. Your total coin-in is $100. Coin-in is not a count of how much currency you've inserted into the machine, but instead a cumulative total of wagers made.[...]Coin-out is its counterpart - it's a cumulative accounting of how much you've been paid back on those wagers. Let's use that same 100 spin example. Let's say that in total you received $75 in line hits and a $20 bonus. That would be a total coin-out of $95, since your total pays for those wagers is that amount. Once again, it's not what you cash out of the machine.

So when you’re seeing cumulative figures like $1 million or $80,000 of coin-in, it’s simply adding up every single wager tracked on your players card for that period of time. It’s not tracking how much money you’re inserting into the machine.

Similarly, coin-out is every single payout (perhaps minus jackpots, which will generally have its own column on the report) for that same window of time.

The total win/loss, however, should match up with how much you spent, because in the end the total wagers and wins will still align with your total win/loss for that period of time at that casino.

I recently returned from a trip to Vegas, and they tracked $10,000 of coin-in on my play at one chain, and $9,000 of coin-out, meaning a total loss of about $1,000. That does match up with my records, which indicates I spent $1,000 at their casinos gambling over the course of my trip.

I didn’t put $10,000 into the machines – I didn’t have a budget of $10,000 for the trip, but I did make enough wagers for that to be plausible (and, working out to about a 90 percent payback, is also well within reason for overall slot paybacks as well).

So it’s important to remember how many wagers we do on a slot machine, and how they can add up (400-600 spins an hour is the average, and many of us are there hours at a time, however many times a month). That’s how these numbers can get so big. And if your win/loss numbers seem surprisingly large, it might be a healthy reminder to review your casino budget and make sure you’re comfortable with that amount of spend.

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Did I Really Spend That Much? – Know Your Slots (11)


My name is Joshua, and I’m a slot enthusiast who works in tech as a marketer by day, and dabbles in casinos periodically during off-times. Know Your Slots will reflect my interests in understanding the various ways you can play slots, travel, casino promotions and how you can get the most out of your casino visits.

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Did I Really Spend That Much? – Know Your Slots (2024)


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