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Casinos exist at the fascinating intersection of glamorous, exciting mode of entertainment and unsentimental, cutthroat business. The shiny lights, sights and sounds of casinos serve as a central calling card for an inclusive entertainment experience that is often supplemented by shows, fancy restaurants and plenty of booze. But gambling isn’t a risk-free endeavor guaranteed to be enjoyable or beneficial. Although the allure of casinos stems from their get-rich-quick prospects, the reverse scenario – one that looms as a far likelier outcome, by the way – is the one that makes casinos such a lucrative business model.
A study by the University of Las Vegas found that the 23 Vegas casinos brought in more than $72 million each over the course of the 2013 fiscal year and wound up collecting over $5 billion of their visitors’ money, altogether. That’s an average of over $630,000 a day, per casino. It only stands to reason, then, that the owners and managers of the casino make careers out of devising strategies to keep people coming in and, more importantly, ensure that more money is coming in than is going out. This often requires a certain level of guile and trickery, but mostly a keen application of gambling-oriented consumer psychology.
Even as we are more savvy and knowledgeable about dangers of casino gambling so that the phrase “the house always wins” has practically become a cliché, we remain sometimes bound by the undeniable thrill and enticing appeal of striking it rich. Casinos will do everything and anything they can to feed into that basic, instinctive desire. Many people are aware of some of the more prominent ploys commonly adopted by casinos, including a lack of clocks so as to limit players’ grasp of time and a strategic design so as to provide subtle pushes towards certain games, machines and tables. One key characteristic of the vast majority of casinos is the deafening presence of victory, with major and minor wins celebrated with flashing lights and whooping sirens, adding to the excitement and leaving on-lookers with the belief that they, too, can win.
These examples, however, only serve to scratch the surface of an aggressive business model based around the dual, two-faced identity of appearing as a fun adult theme park while actually operating as a ruthless business practice. Many amateur gamblers arrive at the casino floor with the aim of taking their early winnings and running, but casinos don’t make it that easy on you. For one thing, most make you exchange cash for chips in order to play, thereby leaving you more likely to be willing to use the full amount of your chips and making cashing them in seem like a chore. If you’ve stuck around long enough, many casinos will only be too happy to keep the good times rolling by offering free drinks and other incentives to stick around.
In spite of these warnings, it is possible to have an enjoyable casino-going experience and even come away with a few extra bucks. First and foremost, it helps to go in informed, so get the inside scoop on the bare bones business behind the glitz and glamour of casinos with these eye-opening industry secrets.
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