A casino, also known as a gambling house or gaming establishment, is a building or room where people can gamble. Casinos provide customers with a variety of gambling opportunities, including table games, slot machines and other electronic devices. Some casinos also offer food and beverage services. Some casinos are combined with hotels, resorts or other tourist attractions.
How do casinos make money?
While glitzy floor shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and extravagant hotels attract visitors, the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year come from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and other casino games generate the vast majority of the revenue that casinos bring in. Each game has a built in advantage for the house, which can be as low as two percent, but adds up over time to allow casinos to construct gleaming towers, dazzling hotels and replicas of famous landmarks. This house edge is commonly referred to as the vig or a rake, and it contributes to the high prices that many casino-goers pay for their gaming experiences.
Like any other business, a casino must earn its profits by attracting and keeping enough paying customers to offset the costs of running the establishment. This is why casino marketing focuses heavily on customer service, offering perks like free hotel rooms, buffets and show tickets to “reward” big spenders. In addition to these customer-focused strategies, casinos rely on mathematicians and computer programmers who specialize in the analysis of casino games. These experts are called gaming mathematicians and gaming analysts. They determine the optimal strategies for players to follow, and also create mathematical models that enable the casinos to monitor their own performance against these strategies.