Do some online casinos offer better payout rates than others?

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If you feel like doing a spot of gambling online, then you may want to find the highest payout online casino available. But is it really true that some online casinos offer better payout rates than others, and how can you find out? We investigate whether there really is a difference between gambling providers when it comes to payouts, and where to look for the best paying online casino Canada.

Payouts at online casinos

As any casino game aficionado knows, if you are playing at an online casino then you are already at a payout advantage. This is because the average payout rates online are much higher than at a land casino. Payouts are usually indicated using the expression return to player rate, or RTP, which is a percentage that shows how much of a player’s money is returned on average. The higher the RTP, the better the return. To make a broad generalization, land-based casinos have an average RTP of around 85%, whereas online casinos are much higher at 96%.


So, if that is the case then surely it doesn’t really matter which online casino you choose? Unfortunately, it is not quite that simple. Even within the world of online gambling sites, there are some that have higher RTP rates than others, and in some cases it is more useful to look at the payout rate for an individual game than for the site as a whole.

Finding a casino RTP rate

To be sure that a casino offers competitive payout rates, the first thing to do is check the licensing. Most licensing bodies stipulate a minimum average RTP, or else they have a rule that casino sites must make their payout rates easily available to view. Unlicensed casinos do not have this requirement, and in theory can set their games to pay as much or as little as they like. For this and a multitude of other reasons, unlicensed sites are to be avoided.


One way to check the payout rate of a casino is to see if they have a report from an international testing organization like eCOGRA. Casinos must submit to regular auditing from these independent bodies, and make the results publicly available. These audited results give an indication of how the casino performs as a whole, but don’t provide much insight into the games on an individual level.

Choosing the right games

Audited RTP reports are a great way to get a quick idea of the overall payout rate of a casino site, and can certainly help to narrow down the choice of where to sign up. When it comes to an individual game, then even a high payout casino can have some low RTP titles. To avoid low-paying games, check the RTP in the game paytable. Volatility should also be taken into account for slot games - this is an indication of the size and frequency of payouts. 

A note of caution to end with. Firstly, RTP is a theoretical number and cannot accurately predict what will happen in a normal gaming session. Secondly, one of the biggest licensing bodies in the world, the Malta Gaming Authority, has recently taken the decision to reduce the minimum legal RTP for virtual casino games from 92% to 85%. This decision is certain to result in a much greater discrepancy in payouts between licensed sites, but this could end up making things easier for players. With a larger range of possibilities available, casinos with the highest payout rates are sure to use it as a prominent marketing tool.

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