The Casino Business


The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, but the bulk of its profits (and entertainment) come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat provide the games that bring in billions of dollars each year for casinos. But the games are not all that casino owners do to attract and keep gamblers. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help draw people in.

The casino business is a complex mixture of psychology, economics and math. Casino managers have to know both the house edge and the variance of all the different games they offer. This information is used to design optimal strategies for players. The mathematicians and computer programmers who perform this work for casinos are called gaming mathematicians or gaming analysts.

Casinos are also concerned with customer service. For years they offered perks that encouraged people to spend more, such as free buffets, show tickets and hotel rooms. Today casinos are choosier about the perks they offer, but many still focus on high-rollers (gamblers who spend much more than average). These people often get “comps” that are worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Most people who visit casinos have no idea how much skill is involved in the games they play. The best way to prepare for a trip to the casino is to learn the rules of the games that interest you. You can do this by watching others, taking lessons from a professional or reading up on the game.

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