Casinos are like an indoor amusement park for adults, but their main attraction is gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and other table games bring in the billions that casino owners rake in each year. They rely on flashing lights, pulsing music and a frantic pace to draw in the punters. But what’s behind the scenes? This article takes a look at how casinos make their money, the history of casino games and what to expect from your next visit.
While mobsters controlled many of the earliest casinos, real estate investors and hotel chains soon realized the profits they could generate from them. They stepped in, buying out the mob and running their own venues. Because federal authorities would revoke their gaming license at even the slightest hint of Mafia involvement, legitimate casino businesses now stay far away from mob connections.
Modern casinos are designed to maximize the entertainment experience, with elaborate themes and state-of-the-art facilities. Many feature musical shows, lighted fountains and restaurants with global cuisines. Casinos also employ a host of security measures to ensure the safety of their patrons.
Because every game offered gives a casino a mathematical expectancy of winning, they are virtually assured of gross profit each day. To ensure this, they offer comps to big bettors, such as free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms, elegant living quarters, free drinks and cigarette smoke while gambling, and other inducements. They also offer high rollers the luxury of playing in special rooms where the bets can reach tens of thousands of dollars per hour.