Las Vegas is the home of the casino. The vast expanse of the desert has been turned into one of the biggest money-making enterprises in the world. The biggest twenty-three casinos each made over $5 billion in 2013.
Running twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, for the whole fifty-two weeks of the year, that made them an average of over $630,000 a day. The great news is that this figure is only from the casino side of the business. Don’t forget that the hotels, restaurants, merchandise and online platforms all create an impact on the bottom line at the same time.
So how do they do it. How does each casino manage to persuade the average visitor to part with their hard-earned cash? With every casino seeming to offer its own unique take on the industry, what is it that they all do which manages to create this money-making boiler pot?
The first thing they have managed to do, is to train every single one of us, that if you want a good time and you want to win big or experience the thrill of gambling, then you head to Las Vegas. The marketing of the location adds value to every single casino and the casino’s have bought into this idea. They pay into a central fund, which advertises and spreads their message across the world. Trips are planned years in advance for when people will go to Vegas, all with the known assumption that they will lose thousands at the casinos. The marketing campaign is so strong, that visitors are willing to accept this as a part of their experience.
A core part of this advertising strategy is to highlight the big wins. To make sure that the whole world knows about the one time a player walked away with $1 million from the slot machines. They host the biggest prizes for poker games, they take the biggest bets on the roulette tables and they are constantly shouting about how big their jackpots are. This is all part of their marketing budget. The jackpot is big, but so many players lose when trying to win it, that it pays for itself and then the marketing is almost completely free.
The casino layouts have not happened by chance. They are specifically arranged to be hard to navigate your way out of and once inside, you should become trapped in a maze of fiendish proportions. The bright flashing lights and constant chiming of money from the slot machines are right by the entrance. The visitors see people winning money even before they think about walking into the casino. The sights are alluring and the sounds provocative.
The casinos remove any need for you to leave the table and to stop spending money. There are no clocks to tell you that it is time to head back to your room and sleep. As soon as you feel hungry and mention that you might stop gambling and head for some food, you will be presented with a menu and given a fully complementary meal. Then there is the stead y flow of free drink, which brings us nicely onto the next point.
You will get free drink, but there is only one reason for this. A drunk gambler is a bad gambler. They might have one or two big wins or a couple of good hands, but they will not stop playing, they will not know when it is time to go home and they really will not walk away from the table whilst they are up. Players will be given free drinks purely to get them playing badly. A beer or cocktail will cost the casino almost nothing and a drunk player is going to throw thousands away on a bad pair of twos.
Casinos have used chips for generations. The chips all stack nicely and are really quick to move around. There is no need to sit and have to count out paper money, which just takes time and can easily be wrong. The casinos will also tell you that it is for increased security and that it helps to protect the players. This might well be true and this might be the good reasons behind the invention of the casino chip. However, it is not the only reason. A chip is a pale imitation of money, it is a cheap piece of plastic which has no real-world value and doesn’t mean anything outside the walls of the casino. It allows players to throw hundreds and thousands down without the merest thought about what that money would do for them outside. The chips are designed to remove the reality of gambling for money and they have done a great job of it.
One of the major issues for casinos is to control the information coming out of them. Their security teams are constantly on the watch for cameras and reporters. They are strict in the licensed use of their images and what people can film inside a casino. If you ever watch any film, even if the main character is losing money, look in the background and you will see a succession of players hitting jackpots and carrying out buckets of cash. It is all about the illusion of winning. Slot machines are fixed at set win rates, this isn’t a secret, the secret is the actual rate that casinos set this rate at. Each of them can choose how often a player will win.
The progression of online slot machines has had a huge impact on the casino industry and especially around the win rates, you can find more infos here about how to win on a slot machine.
The casino industry in Las Vegas is a business model built on success. Their business model is one which has been copied and imitated time and time again, but the original has never been beaten. As the old Las Vegas saying goes: ‘The house always wins’