How Do Casinos Make Money?

Last Updated on May 15, 2023

The value of the global casino sector is over $500 billion, according to a Statista analysis. The numerous slot machines, bright lighting, and fancy table setting make this an extremely profitable business. The game of chance is the mainstay of casinos.

By providing games of chance where the average payouts are less than the revenue generated by the total bets, casinos are able to turn a profit. The steps taken to accomplish this as well as the lingo used to create casino records and revenue are described below.

The Handle

The handle is the primary source of revenue for casinos. The handle is the most crucial component of the gaming operator, regardless of the game. The sum of all bets placed by players is known as the handle. Every participant places their wagers in the handle, which is made up of money or chips, when playing table games like craps, for instance. The gambler’s money has two possible outcomes: either they win or lose the wager.

The handle and the drop are frequently simple to mix up. Any funds or credits exchanged for chips constitute the drop. Consider the metal drop box at the edge of the table in the game of blackjack as an illustration. This is the drop. Bills and credit slips are dropped into this box by the players. The phrases “drop” and “handle” are occasionally used synonymously.

Factors That Influence the Handle

What is known as “time on device” has the biggest impact on casino handles. Whatever the wager, there won’t be a handle or a profit if there are no players. When casinos develop strategies to raise average bets and the length of time any gaming machine (such as a slot machine or table area) is in play, they maximise their revenue.

According to the business model, the total handle is a function of game pace, user capacity, and average wager. Because of this, all players club comps are calculated based on your average wager and the number of hours played, not on your win or loss total!

A casino with 100 slot machines can only be profitable if patrons are consistently using them. However, table game betting minimums and game space usage can be misleading.

Due to this, it is uncommon to find a blackjack game with a low $2 or $5 minimum, even while there are multiple $25 tables that are empty and players are milling about wanting to play that amount.

It is straightforward logic; the casino anticipates making a specific sum of money for each blackjack round. The dealer can deal the player up to 375 hands. The total bets would be roughly $750 if each of the six participants placed a $2 wager. If you don’t count the splits and double down, that is.

However, if only one person bets $25, the table will generate $4,125 in just one hour. Even while there may not always be players, even one game can have a significant impact. Low limits decrease the likelihood of rich customers, which decreases the likelihood that the casino will make money.

Read: How to Find Value in Betting on Underdog Teams

House Edge

The casino typically has a statistical advantage over each bet that allows them to profit more. The home border is what is meant here. A game is considered a gamble when the casino has a theoretical edge over the player. Both parties have an equal chance of winning at any time, and the outcome is uncertain. This implies that the casino benefits if the player loses.

The border of the house has two sides. The entire sum of money that the casino has after all players have settled their wagers is known as the casino win. If players win more than the casino has in cash, this sum could be negative; however, it could also be positive if the casino makes money. The casino wins when the hold percentage of the drop is higher.

A $100 coin may have been put into a slot machine by a player. It might only pay out $80 for the whole day. As a result, the casino makes $20. The total number of bets is used to calculate the hold percentage. The price to spin the wheel could be $1. The machine may record 1000 spins throughout the course of the day, for a total of $1000. Only $20 can be won by players, hence the hold percentage is $20 for every $1,000 wagered or 2%.

Explaining the Hold Percentage

A roulette table with a double zero and a zero is a nice illustration. In this game, the casino has a house advantage of 5.26%. The casino will probably take home 20% of the drop money at the end of the game. This implies that $20 goes to the casino for every $100 deposited into the drop box. The player will probably place additional bets throughout the game to offset the house advantage. They gain or lose some as a result of the procedure. Eventually, they either lose the amount they were willing to sacrifice or gain just a small portion.


Players may receive comps, which are given as bonuses similar to comps, if they are new to the site or if they spend a lot of money there. Players who place significant bets or invest a certain amount of time in a game may be eligible to get gifts like airline tickets, concert tickets, or even an additional portion of their overall profits. Comps are determined by the length of time a player spends playing and the number of stakes they have placed. The player must register for a slot club card to be eligible for a comp. The card records the number of games played, the wagers, and the duration of the games.

Comps benefit the casino more than they do the players. Spending more time playing casino games increases the likelihood that players will place more bets—or rather, lose more bets. While playing with high stakes increases the likelihood that the player will lose money, the total amount spent on the games is typically far higher than the casino’s complimentary offer. Because of this, when playing at casinos, a player needs to set a limit.


How do casinos generate revenue? The quick answer is that they offer reward odds that are lower than the likelihood of winning. You may still succeed in the near term in such a scenario, but ultimately the casino will prevail. The house edge is the distinction between payout odds and winning chances.

The house edge can be viewed as a fee on each wager you make. It can also be seen as a loan with a negative interest rate.

Although playing casino games can be entertaining, it can be costly over time for a player. The casino is making money off of it as well.

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