What Makes a Casino Profitable?


From the Las Vegas strip to the illegal pai gow parlors of New York City, casinos are where people gather to gamble. Although lighted fountains, upscale restaurants and hotels, live entertainment and even themed shopping centers draw visitors in, the vast majority of casino revenue comes from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker are just a few of the many popular casino games. These games have mathematically determined odds that give the house a built in advantage over players and are largely what make casinos profitable.

While a few high rollers may spend millions of dollars at the tables, most casino visitors gamble with smaller amounts. To encourage them to play and stay longer, most casinos offer a variety of complimentary items (complimentaries) and services, such as hotel rooms, free meals, show tickets, limo service and airline tickets. This is called comping and it is an important way for casinos to increase their profit margins.

Security is also a major concern for most casino owners. To protect against fraud, casinos use cameras to monitor the gaming floor and keep track of bets. They also employ staff to patrol the floors and look out for suspicious behavior. In addition to these measures, some casinos have used advanced technology to improve their game-playing abilities. For example, betting chips with microcircuitry enable casinos to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute and warn them immediately if any anomalies occur; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from their expected outcomes.