Opening A Casino – How to Start Your Own Casino From Scratch
Last Updated: January 10, 2022
Opening A Casino – How to Start Your Own Casino From Scratch
Do you love gambling and want to open a casino? Perhaps you’re just flirting with this idea and want to learn more about how to start a casino before you put any more serious effort into such a venture.
Regardless of where you stand, we’ve summed up all of the details about this interesting topic. In this detailed guide, we’ll go through everything you need to know before opening a casino.
Opening a Casino: Create a Casino Plan from Scratch
Opening a casino undoubtedly seems like a fun and exciting business venture, but it is a serious line of business that requires a lot of responsibility from the operator’s side.
That’s why there are many things to consider when creating a casino from scratch. Here’s what you should pay attention to when drafting a plan for your casino.
The Legality of Gambling and Possible Limitations
The first thing to check before you take any other steps is to make sure gambling is legal in your location.
This is especially vital if you live in the US, as this country has stringent gambling federal laws that only permit gambling activities in certain areas.
You’ll have to register your business with the city and the state (if you live in the US) before you can get all of the gambling licenses.
Most likely, you’ll also have to apply for certain paperwork with the tax department in your country. The regulations at this point can get very specific, as they depend on the country or even the specific state you live in.
Moreover, if gambling is legal in your country and city, you need to check local legislation and make sure that there aren’t any zoning requirements that would prohibit you from opening a casino. All of this is crucial to know before starting a gambling business.
Other Important Laws
Besides the acts regulating gambling activities in your location, you should know what the age restrictions are and make sure your employees stick to these rules at all times.
For example, in most countries worldwide, the legal gambling age is 18 years of age. But, in some countries, only people who are 21 and older can gamble.
Another additional law worth checking is the one that regulates serving alcohol in your establishment. Most casinos have liquor licenses, which are often governed by very strict state laws.
Regulators that permit casinos to serve alcohol to their customers also require them to send their staff to extensive training courses on dealing with drunk gamblers and when to prohibit them from gambling.
Location, Location, Location
Location is arguably one of the most important factors that can make or break a casino. You need to pick the right place on a bustling street and ensure that your future casino lot meets all of the zoning requirements.
You need to have enough space to construct not only the casino but a suitably-sized parking and all other necessary infrastructure.
Additionally, you need to obtain construction permits and any other licenses required for a project of such scale.
Because of this, most top-quality casinos employ teams of architects and project managers to oversee the project and make sure everything goes according to plan.
Make Sure You Have Enough Money
Opening a casino will always be expensive, as there are many factors that go into it. You can’t cut corners, especially when it comes to cashing out for licenses and purchasing the property you want to open a casino on.
This is why you’ll need to have more money than you think you’ll need, just in there are some unforeseen expenses.
To go around this potential financial issue, many casino operators resort to raising starting capital from banks and wealthy private investors.
You can offer them a stake in your business or agree to pay them a fixed amount once you start making money.
Besides this, it’s also crucial to make sure you meet the “cash-on-hand” requirements in your location. In simple words, this is the money you need to have at all times to cover potential jackpots and multi-million wins.
The exact numbers will vary depending on your location. That said, the general rule of thumb is that you should have as much cash as there are chips on the casino floor. This means that you need at least ten to twenty million available at any time of night and day.
How to Open a Casino
Once you have your casino plan and have sorted out all of the legislation, construction plans, and other paperwork, you can move to the concrete steps of opening your casino.
With that in mind, you can shift your attention to the things you need to know before you open a casino. These include:
- Buying Equipment – Gambling equipment is the biggest reason why your customers will come to your casino. Whether you’re opening a tiny gambling house or a massive casino, you should look for a good balance of slots, card game tables, video poker machines, as well as other equipment every casino should have.
- Obtaining Food and Alcohol Licenses – If you plan on selling food or alcohol in your casino, you’ll need to obtain the appropriate licenses from your local department of health and safety. They’ll inspect your venue and issue all of the regulations you need to stick to when serving food and drinks.
- Purchasing Insurance – Insurance for your casino is an absolute must-have in this line of work. When dealing with gamblers, many of whom are often drunk, legal issues and lawsuits are not very uncommon. This is why you need to have top-quality insurance backing you up.
- Hiring Personnel – Your casino will only be as good as the people who work in it make it. Keep in mind that many of these employees, especially those in more responsible positions, need to have special licenses issued by a regulatory government body.
Focusing on the latter aspect, don’t overlook the importance of precise budgeting for the salaries of your employees. Staff hiring expenses generally make up to twenty percent of all pre-launch budgeting expenses.
This number grows even more when considering after-launch expenses, as once you get your casino running, staff salaries will be one of the biggest expenses to keep in mind.
Marketing – A Big Part of Every Casino
The top casino operators understand that marketing is a massive contributor to success. Without marketing, you can have the best or most luxurious casino in the world, and very few people will come to it if you don’t spread the word.
It can be a powerful tool in attracting potential customers and swaying them to commit to your business. To help you out, here are just some of the most significant marketing steps successful casinos implement into their businesses:
- Brand Positioning – The first and most crucial marketing step is developing a brand and positioning it accordingly in the current market. For this, you need to determine what you want your brand to focus on, what makes your casino different from its competitors, and why potential customers should commit their time and money to your casino.
- Pre-launch and Launch Campaigns – Before the launch itself, be prepared to spread the word through all possible media, to make it known that a new and exciting casino is opening up. Moreover, during the launch, set up advertising campaigns, employ social media platforms, and traditional publications to ensure maximum possible reach.
- Retention Offers and Promotions – You don’t need to be a marketing expert to know that it’s more expensive to attract new customers than to keep the old ones. This is why you should create retention bonuses available to casino regulars and loyal customers. This will make them keep coming back and enjoy the perks they can only get in your venue.
- Affiliate Networking – This form of marketing is a great strategy to play to the people’s subconscious side. For example, develop contacts with partners from other business spheres to promote your casino for a fixed fee or a commission. This will help attract potential customers from all walks of life to your casino’s doorstep.
With this in mind, to make an effective marketing strategy, you need to have a detailed and well-researched marketing plan.
This is in itself an all-encompassing project that involves a long list of aspects because you need to obtain a complete picture of the market you want to enter.
This includes knowing who the market leaders in your area are, what marketing strategy you have to use, and what you can expect in a specific period.
How Much Money Can You Expect to Make From a Casino?
Of course, after covering all of the aspects from above, we should also address one of the main burning questions – how much money can you really expect to earn from a casino?
In truth, there’s no fixed amount you can use as a reference point, as it depends on many factors, some of which we’ve discussed previously.
The casino’s profit will primarily depend on the location it’s in, how big it is, and how high are its operating costs. Moreover, very few casinos start earning the big bucks right away.
It usually takes some time before a casino can start running optimally, so the profits aren’t as high initially as they are a few years down the line.
Considering all of this, the most accurate ballpark of how much a large and well-packed casino earns is between one and three million dollars daily.
This is the amount averaged out throughout the year, as even casinos can have bad days and lose more than they earn. Although losing days don’t happen very often, they can noticeably dent a casino’s budget when they occur.
With all of this in mind, casino executives rarely set daily goals, as this is a very unpredictable goal to focus on. They primarily use long-term numbers, mainly monthly and quarterly, to assess how the house performs.
Opening and Owning a Casino – Conclusion
Creating a plan for your casino from scratch and putting it into place is not very complicated. But, it does cover a long list of actions you need to tick before opening the doors of your gambling house.
Still, with proper planning and efficient management, you can set your business on the right track for success.
With this in mind, it’s also important to set realistic expectations. Owning and operating a casino can be a very lucrative business. But, it’s essential to know the other side of the coin as well.
This is that casinos often go out of business for plenty of reasons.
This isn’t to discourage you from stepping into this world, only to warn you to keep an eye on all of the aspects of your gambling business. And, as you can see from this detailed guide on how to own a casino, there are many of them that make up a successful operation.
Knowing all of this, our thorough page on how to start and open your casino from scratch has hopefully provided you with everything you need to know. If you’ve set your mind to this venture, we wish you the best of luck!
Helpful FAQ on How to Open a Casino
How much does a casino cost to open?
The cost of opening a casino can widely vary based on many aspects. A good rule of thumb is to prepare anywhere from a couple of million dollars to several dozen or even hundred million dollars.
This is because you have to prepare for upfront costs like branding, hardware, employee salaries for the first months, and many other factors.
How to own a casino or purchase it?
The legality of owning a casino primarily depends on the location you want to do business. Buying a commercial casino is illegal in most US states but is legal in many European countries.
Because of this, you first need to know all of the legislation before trying to open or purchase a casino.