Despite the state of the economy, residents in St. Charles Parish are still spending plenty of money on video gaming with $29.7 million going into the roughly 324 machines in the area in a 12-month period, according to statistics from the Louisiana State Police Gaming Enforcement Division.
The figures are based on the 2011 fiscal year, which began in July 2010 and ended in June 2011. The total amount spent on video gaming in 2011 is $20,399 higher than last year.
While there is a lot of money going into the video poker machines, only 65 percent is coming back out as winnings.
This year, $19.3 million has been paid out in the parish, which equals $59,471 per machine. Still, with each machine taking in an average of $91,720, the odds are not in the residentsí favor.
The number of businesses offering video gaming machines has changed each quarter, but averages around 43. The revenue of the 324 machines at those various businesses is $10.4 million, but each business must pay a 27 percent tax to the state on those winnings.
The total amount of taxes paid by area vendors to the state was $2.8 million.
After the tax, each machine has an average profit of $23,390. Most businesses donít get to keep all that total though, and must pay a percentage of the winnings to the vendors that own each video gaming machine.