Most gamblers want to know their odds of winning money when they go to a casino. The casino industry has tried to keep this data secret for many years. A recent report from the Wall Street Journal may shed some light on this closely guarded secret.

WSJ investigators reviewed data from a number of public sources to help gamblers understand their odds of winning. Their research was primarily based on data from which was used in a Harvard Medical School study on gambling addictions. The study reviewed more than 4,000 online gamblers between 2005 and 2007. Bwin officials said that a study using more recent data would probably show similar results.

Online gamblers tend to behave differently from those who attend offline casinos. However, researchers don’t believe that created a significant margin of error in this study. Robert Hannum, a mathematicians who specializes in researching the gambling industry, said that win-loss patterns are probably very similar between the two groups.

This data showed that the odds of winning money in the short-term were fairly decent. Nearly a third of gamblers win money on any given day at the casino. However, the chances of winning are significantly lower over an extended period of time.

Only 11% of customers win more than they lose over a two-year period. The few lucky gamblers rarely win more than $150 if they play for two years.

Gamblers who played consistently tended to lose more often than casual gamblers. Barely 5% of habitual gamblers won money over the long-term. Many heavy gamblers lost tens of thousands of dollars. Gamblers who lost more than $5,000 also outnumbered big winners by more than a hundred to one.

Even many gambling experts were surprised by these figures. Jim Kilby is a recognized expert who has written three books on casino management. Kilby admitted that he had no idea the odds were stacked so heavily against players.

Most gamblers know that the odds are in the house’s favor. However, they can make more informed decisions about how often they play when they hear the statistics.

Staff - Various members of the staff at contributed to this report.