The gambling world has been fascinated by casinos ever since the first movie about them, Ocean’s 11. The movie was a hit, starring the Rat Pack, and has been remade countless times, most notably as a George Clooney film. A typical casino has thousands of tables, one-armed bandits, and glittering lights. The best casinos offer five-star food and entertainment. They are where the rich mingle with the poor, and millions of dollars pass through their doors each day.
Today, casinos are much more selective, focusing their resources on high-rollers and enticing them with perks. These “comps” are free items and services the casino provides to its customers in exchange for increased spending. Free buffets and show tickets were common in the 1970s, and Las Vegas casinos offered cheap travel packages. The goal was to attract as many people as possible to the city, so they gave out comps and free hotel stays.
In order to stay in business, casinos have to maintain a substantial statistical edge. Often, it’s less than two percent, but millions of people can make enough money to support the casino’s operations. This edge, called “rake,” is often called “vig” or “rake.” And if the casino has a good payout ratio, it’s likely that it’ll remain profitable. In addition to comps, casinos also have a dedicated staff.