The casino industry is huge. Some experts think it accounts for up to a quarter of the world’s gambling revenues. The popularity of casinos has created a variety of other related businesses.
For example, hotels and restaurants have grown around them. These new offerings have made casinos much larger. They’ve also prompted many casinos to expand their gaming offerings. Today, some casinos offer everything from high-stakes baccarat to bingo.
How casinos attract customers remains an intriguing question. Gambling has always been a social activity, but the modern casino is designed around noise, light and excitement. More than 15,000 miles of neon tubing animates the gambling areas on the Las Vegas Strip, while gamblers are surrounded by other people shouting encouragement or pushing buttons on slot machines that pay out cash or points.
Casinos also use a host of psychological tricks to persuade gamblers to keep playing. For example, slot machines are tuned to a musical key to be pleasing to the ear. And the clink of coins and bells is constantly present. But more than anything, the casinos rely on their reputations for integrity. They can’t afford the slightest hint of organized crime involvement.
This is one reason why legitimate businessmen, who have the deep pockets to compete with mob-run casinos, were eager to get into the gambling industry in the early days of Nevada’s growth. In fact, many of the early casinos were owned by real estate investors and hotel chains. These companies were able to buy out the mafia and run their casinos without any mob interference.