How Casinos Make Money


While lighted fountains, lavish hotels and even a few Broadway-style shows draw visitors to casinos, the vast majority of the profits that casinos make are from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker and other popular games provide the billions of dollars in revenue that casinos pull in each year. This article takes a look at how casino’s make money, the history of the industry and some of the dark side of the business.

Unlike other businesses that rely on customers for their profit, casinos are virtually assured of making a gross profit with every game they offer. That’s because each individual game has a built-in advantage, or house edge, that ensures that the casino will win over time.

Security is a major concern for casinos because of the large amounts of money involved and the temptations that exist for both patrons and employees to cheat or steal. Because of these dangers, most casinos have a high level of security in place. Security starts on the floor, where dealers closely watch their own games and the people playing them for any signs of blatant cheating. Casinos also employ pit bosses and table managers who watch over the tables with a broader perspective, checking that patrons aren’t colluding on their bets or looking for betting patterns that could indicate they are cheating.

Many casinos are also wired with surveillance cameras that allow for constant monitoring. Computers are used to help oversee the actual games themselves as well, with some using chips with built-in microcircuitry to track exact bet amounts minute by minute and alert security to any statistical deviation; others use computerized roulette wheels that regularly scan for statistical anomalies.