How to Open a Casino and Gain Success as a Casino Owner

how to open a casino successful gambling business

Americans lose somewhere in the vicinity of 100 billion dollars gambling on an annual basis. When you add to that amount the kind of money that's lost on a global scale, the picture of how lucrative gambling is for casinos becomes crystal clear.

Every year, hundreds of new casinos open up and many of them cash in on their investment fast. That truth might have you thinking that you'd like to open up a casino of your own.

While we certainly appreciate your gusto, it's important to know that figuring out how to open a casino isn't quite as easy as figuring out how to open most other businesses.

Casinos deal with a lot of things that are heavily regulated by the government which makes matters... Challenging.

Below, we step you through an overview of the steps you'd need to take to get a casino up and running.

1. Understand Local Gambling Regulations

Millions of people worldwide are addicted to gambling. That addiction ruins families and communities.

Because of that, politicians have been quick to regulate the industry or in some cases, smack it down altogether.

Before opening your casino, you'll need to first look over what your state's basic laws are regarding casino play. You'll also need to determine if operating a casino in your state is legal at all.

For reference, about half of the states in the country don't allow casinos outside of Native American land.

2. Decide If You'd Like to Sell Alcohol

As you're mulling over casino laws, you're also going to need to ask yourself if alcohol is going to be part of the equation for your establishment. If it is, you've got a whole other set of problems on your hands.

States and cities have varying laws on serving alcohol that you'll need to get privy to. You'll also need to get approval for a license to sell alcohol which can be a lengthy and pothole-filled process.

3. Prepare to Enforce Age Restrictions

Know what the gambling and drinking age laws are in your state like your livelihood depends on it because, in a lot of ways, it does.

One of the quickest ways that casinos lose licenses is when underage people partake in adult-only activities. One slip-up and your doors are shut for good.

Be sure to research best practices when it comes to age verification to make sure that you don't get shut down.

4. Read Cash-in-Hand Laws

One of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to how to open a casino is the cash-in-hand law. This law will vary from state to state but at a minimum will dictate that your casino must have enough cash-in-hand to cover every single chip that's in circulation on your floor.

In some states, you'll need much more than that.

5. Draw up Your Business Plan

Now that you know all about the barriers that exist between you and your casino ambitions, it's time to draw up a business plan.

In your business plan, you'll want to describe everything from why it's a good idea to open up a casino in a certain area to whether or not you're going to discover more about digital gaming and take portions of your casino online.

The more detailed your plan is, the more likely that it'll be to attract investors.

Pro Tip: Don't make your business plan too dry. If your intention is to show it to others, you'll want to put a fair amount of thought into the presentation to ensure that people actually read your work.

6. Find Backers

With your business plan checked off, it's time to start shopping around your casino idea.

Those that have ample cash in the bank to cover all costs associated with building and backing a casino need not worry about this step. Since we're guessing that most people don't have that kind of money laying around though, we figured it was important to mention.

You can go to banks with your casino idea to see if they'll fund it or you can go to private investment groups that have put money into casinos before.

Our recommendation is to go to investment groups since they'll understand your vision better and will be able to offer you guidance as you build out your brand.

7. Get Registered and Licensed

Once you get a yes from investors, you'll want to get a yes from the government.

Hire a lawyer, file the appropriate paperwork and secure your business registration, casino license, alcohol license, permits and anything else that you need to operate.

This step might take a while since rejections are common and revisions will likely need to be made to your application.

8. Connect the Dots and Market Like Crazy

With the groundwork done and your money in place, now it's time to get to work actually erecting your casino, filling it out with the necessities and marketing it like crazy.

A new casino is a big deal in a community and you'll likely have a lot of opportunities to gain press coverage through your planning and building phases.

Develop good relationships with reporters and make sure that they keep talking up your venture. You can also exploit more traditional advertising routes like taking out billboards.

The more people you get in the door, the more money that you stand to make!

Our Final Thoughts on How to Open a Casino

How to open a casino business is a question that has a lot of competing answers, twists, and legal hurdles.

Armed with the right team though and our tips above, you should be able to push your new casino vision forward to completion.

If you hit any snags along the way, feel free to browse more of our free, expertly-sourced business advice on our website.

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