June 16, 2024

The Casino Business Model Is Not Sustainable

2 min read


From the twinkly lights and the free drinks to the raucous, gambling-based entertainment, casinos are a place where people gather to test their luck at games of chance. These luxurious destinations offer everything from slot machines and table games to top-notch restaurants, spas and theaters.

Beneath the glamour, flashing lights and high-rollers is a system designed to slowly drain patrons of their cash. For years mathematically inclined minds have tried to turn the tables on this rigged game. But the truth is, casino security is a complex science. It starts with the employees. Dealers are heavily trained to keep an eye on each other and can easily spot blatant cheating techniques such as palming or marking cards or dice. Similarly, pit bosses and table managers have a wider view of the casino to catch anyone stealing chips from their own tables.

In addition, casinos monitor their games for anomalies with sophisticated technology. For example, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to know minute by minute exactly how much money is being wagered and warn them quickly if there are any statistical deviations from the expected results. And roulette wheels are regularly electronically monitored to check for any unusual vibrations that might indicate tampering.

Then there are the comps, or complimentary goods and services, which casinos give to their best players. These can include free hotel rooms, show tickets, dinners and even limo service. But some argue that the casino business model is unsustainable because of the costs associated with compulsive gambling, such as the lost productivity of problem gamblers and the taxes casinos pay to local governments.

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