The Casino Business Is Not All It’s Cracked Up To Be

The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the bulk of its profits (and fun) coming from gambling. Craps, poker, blackjack, roulette, keno and other games of chance provide the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos each year. [Source: UIUC News Bureau].

Casinos attract gamblers by offering free drinks, showy stage shows and living quarters. They also offer comps, or complimentary services, to the biggest bettors. These can include limo service, hotel rooms, restaurant tickets and airfare. Even lesser bettors earn comps for their play by signing up for casino frequent-flyer programs, which track game play and spending.

Despite their lavish trappings, the casino business is a risky one. Several studies show that people who become addicted to gambling generate more losses than they bring in, and that the costs of treating compulsive gamblers often cancel out any economic benefits a casino might produce. [Source: UIUC News Bureau]

While some people might bet on their favorite teams to win, the vast majority of casino patrons are content with a good time and the thrill of trying their luck at a variety of games. The casinos’ ambience is designed to make the experience enjoyable, with loud noise and music, bright lights and cheering crowds. The floor and wall coverings are usually a bright color, often red, which is thought to stimulate the brain and improve concentration. The games are fast and exciting, and casino gamblers shout encouragement or make other comments as they play.

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