1 min read

The Casino Industry

As the name implies, a casino is a place to gamble. Despite the glitzy entertainment, restaurants and shops, casinos are primarily places where people risk their money on games of chance—games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, baccarat and video poker. These games give the house a mathematical advantage, known as the “house edge.” Nevertheless, the casino industry generates billions of dollars in profits each year for corporations, investors and Native American tribes.

To offset the house edge, casinos do many things to keep gamblers happy. Free food and drinks, for example, might make gamblers less focused on how much they’re losing. Casinos also use chips instead of real cash, which makes it easier for them to track how much money is coming in and out. Unlike home gambling, where the dealer deals cards to players, casino card games are dealt by employees.

While some casinos have a reputation for being crime havens, most operate in strict compliance with state and federal laws. The mob once provided the bankroll for many Vegas casinos, but federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of organized crime involvement have forced gangsters to diversify their businesses. Today, hotel and real estate companies run many casinos.

Most casino gamblers are wealthy men and women who enjoy spending hours in front of slot machines and playing card tables. A 2005 study of casino patrons by Roper Reports GfK NOP and TNS included face-to-face interviews with 2,000 adults and a survey of 100,000 households. The study found that the typical American casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income.