The Casino Business in the Twenty-First Century


A casino is a place where people can bet money and win or lose. It can include table games like blackjack and roulette, slot machines and poker rooms, as well as live entertainment, top-notch hotels, spas, restaurants and more.

The casino business is highly competitive, and casinos have become increasingly sophisticated in attracting and keeping customers. They offer a variety of incentives to gamblers, from free drinks and food to stage shows and dramatic scenery. In addition, they often operate loyalty programs that resemble airline frequent-flyer programs, allowing patrons to redeem points for free slot play or meals and drinks.

In the twenty-first century, casinos are choosier about who they let in, and focus their investment on high rollers. These are gamblers who wager large amounts, often in special rooms away from the main casino floor, where the stakes can be as high as tens of thousands of dollars. In return, the casinos lavish them with comps, which can include free hotel rooms and dinners, limo service, show tickets and even airfare.

Casinos make their money by ensuring that all bets are placed within an established limit, which gives them a mathematical edge over the players. This advantage can be very small, but it adds up over millions of bets, and allows the casinos to construct extravagant hotels, fountains, towers, replicas of famous landmarks and more. There is also a less visible profit margin: the casino’s “vigorish” or rake, which can be as high as two percent of the total bets.