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How to Start a Casino

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

Edited by:

David has been writing and learning about business, finance and globalization for a quarter-century, starting with a small New York consulting firm in the 1990s.

How to Start a Casino

Fast Facts

Investment range

$2,325,600 – $80,581,500

Revenue potential

$27,375,000 - $54,760,000 p.a.

Time to build

12 -24 months

Profit potential

$2,290,000 - $4,580,000 p.a.

Industry trend




Casino gambling in some form is now legal in most states, offering a huge opportunity for new casinos to emerge and thrive. Many casinos are attached to or located within a hotel, making them even more profitable. If you’re a lover of blackjack, craps, and all forms of gambling, the time is ripe to start your own casino.

But your best bet is to understand the business. Fortunately, this step-by-step guide details all you need to know to start a lucrative casino.

Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You

Pros and cons


  • Huge profit potential
  • Show people a great time
  • Growing market


  • Laws may prohibit starting a casino in some areas
  • Extremely high startup costs

Casino industry trends

Industry size and growth

  • Industry size and past growth – The U.S. casino hotels industry is worth $80.9 billion in 2023 after declining an average of .2% for the last five years due to the pandemic.((https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/casino-hotels-industry/))
  • Growth forecast – The U.S. casino hotels industry is projected to grow 2.7% in 2023.
  • Number of businesses – In 2023, 628 casino hotel businesses are operating in the U.S. 
  • Number of people employed – In 2023, the U.S. casino hotels industry employs 623,119 people.
Casino industry size and growth

Trends and challenges


  • Virtual reality based gaming is projected to be the next big thing in casinos.
  • Sports gambling is on the rise, particularly with younger demographics.


  • Online sports betting is growing, so many gamblers are no longer frequently casinos.
  • Economic conditions are keeping people away from discretionary spending on gambling.
Casino industry Trends and Challenges

Demand hotspots

Casino demand hotspots

What kind of people work in casinos?

Casino industry demographics

How much does it cost to start a casino business?

Startup costs for a casino range from $2 million to $80 million or more depending on the size of the casino. Costs include facility construction, gaming machines and tables, and an operating budget.

You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your casino business, including: 

  • Gaming machines and tables
  • Bars and barstools
  • Chairs
  • Kitchen equipment

How much can you earn from a casino business?

The average person that comes to your casino will probably spend and lose $150, including buying drinks. Your profit margin will be about 8%. 

In your first year or two, you might get 500 customers a day if you have a good sized casino, bringing in $27,375,000 in revenue. This would mean $2,290,000 in profit, assuming that 8% margin. 

As you gain traction, you might get 1000 customers a day.  With annual revenue of $54,760,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $4,580,000.

Casino earning forecast

What barriers to entry are there?

There are a few barriers to entry for a casino. Your biggest challenges will be:

  • Finding a location where casinos are allowed
  • Funding the startup costs

Related Business Ideas

If you’re still not sure whether this business idea is the right choice for you, here are some related business opportunities to help you on your path to entrepreneurial success.
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Step 2: Hone Your Idea

develop a business idea

Now that you know what’s involved in starting a casino, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market. 

Market research could give you the upper hand even if you’ve got the perfect product. Conducting robust market research is crucial, as it will help you better understand your customers, your competitors, and the broader business landscape.

Analyze your competitors 

Research casinos in your area to examine their services, price points, and customer reviews.

  • Make a list of casinos that offer similar services. 
  • Review your competitors’ services – their features, pricing, and quality – and marketing strategies
  • Check out their online reviews and ratings on Google, Yelp, and Facebook to get an idea of what their customers like and dislike.
  • Identify your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses. 

This should identify areas where you can strengthen your business and gain a competitive edge to make better business decisions.

Why? Identify an opportunity

You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a casino that has a large number of craps tables, or one that has sports betting.

You might consider targeting a niche, such as slot machines.

This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away. 

What? Determine your products and services

Casinos offer a diverse range of products and services to cater to the entertainment needs of their patrons. Here are some of the most common:

1. Gaming Options:

  • Table Games: Such as blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and poker.
  • Slot Machines: Ranging from classic reels to video slots with various themes.
  • Poker Rooms: Offering various poker games and tournaments.
  • Electronic Table Games: Electronic versions of popular table games.
  • Sports Betting: Wagering on various sports events.
  • Race Books: Betting on horse or dog races.
  • Bingo: Played in dedicated rooms or areas.
  • Keno: A lottery-like game played at intervals.

2. Loyalty Programs:

  • Players’ Clubs: Earn points for play which can be redeemed for comps.
  • VIP Programs: For high-rollers with exclusive benefits.

3. Dining & Beverages:

  • Restaurants: Ranging from buffets to gourmet dining.
  • Bars & Lounges: Offering a variety of beverages and often live entertainment.
  • Nightclubs: Dancing, DJ sets, and premium beverages.

4. Entertainment & Events:

  • Shows: Magic, comedy, concerts, or resident performances.
  • Nightclubs: Often featuring renowned DJs or themed nights.
  • Special Events: Such as boxing matches, MMA fights, or other large-scale events.

5. Accommodation:

  • Hotels: Rooms and suites often attached or affiliated with the casino.
  • Resort Amenities: Pools, spas, gyms, and other recreational facilities.

6. Retail:

  • Shops: Offering merchandise ranging from souvenirs to luxury goods.

7. Services:

  • Concierge: Assisting guests with reservations, tickets, and general information.
  • Shuttle Services: Transporting guests to/from the casino.
  • Valet Parking: Offering convenient vehicle storage.

8. Conventions & Meetings:

  • Conference Rooms: For business events, conventions, or private functions.
  • Banquet Facilities: For weddings, corporate events, or other gatherings.

9. Promotions:

  • Tournaments: Organized gaming competitions with prizes.
  • Giveaways: Offering prizes or rewards for certain play or promotional events.

10. Online Platforms:

These are just some of the many products and services that casinos might offer. The exact offerings will vary depending on the casino’s size, location, and target audience.

How much should you charge for casino services?

Obviously, most of your revenue is going to be the gambling losses of your customers, but you’ll need to determine prices for your food and beverages. These prices should be based on market prices in your area, but also on your costs.

Once you know your costs, use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price points. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.

Who? Identify your target market

Adults of all ages enjoy the casino experience, so you should spread out your marketing to include TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. 

Where? Choose a casino location

Choosing a casino location requires a balance of market analysis, local regulations, and logistical considerations. Here are key points to consider:

  1. Local Regulations: Confirm gambling legality and licensing.
  2. Market Demand: Examine demographics and competition.
  3. Accessibility: Prioritize major transportation hubs and parking.
  4. Safety & Security: Opt for low-crime areas.
  5. Neighboring Attractions: Proximity to complementary businesses or attractions.
  6. Infrastructure: Ensure utilities, internet, and good road conditions.
  7. Real Estate Costs: Evaluate property and construction expenses.
  8. Size & Layout: Space for desired capacity and future expansions.
  9. Environmental Risks: Assess natural hazards and environmental impact.
  10. Community Reception: Understand local sentiments towards gambling.
  11. Economic Factors: Research local economic health.
  12. Tax Incentives: Explore local tax implications and incentives.
Casino idea rating

Step 3: Brainstorm a Casino Business Name

Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.

Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:

  • Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
  • Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better 
  • Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
  • Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
  • Including keywords, such as “casino” or “gaming”, boosts SEO
  • Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “InfinityBet Resorts” and “AllPlay Casino Empire” over “PokerPalace Royale” and “SlotSavannah”
  • Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
  • Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator. Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.

Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these. 

Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead and reserve your business name with your state, start the trademark registration process, and complete your domain registration and social media account creation. 

Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick a name, reserve it and start with the branding, it’s hard to switch to a new name. So be sure to carefully consider your choice before moving forward. 

Step 4: Create a Casino Business Plan

Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:

  • Executive Summary: Provide a concise summary of your casino business plan, highlighting its unique features and potential for success in the gaming industry.
  • Business Overview: Introduce your casino business, detailing its location, size, target audience, and the types of casino games and entertainment services you’ll offer.
  • Product and Services: Describe the range of casino games, amenities, and entertainment options available to customers, including slots, table games, restaurants, and live shows.
  • Market Analysis: Analyze the local and regional market for casinos, considering factors like demographics, competition, and trends in the gaming industry.
  • Competitive Analysis: Identify and evaluate your casino’s competitors, both local and regional, highlighting what sets your establishment apart.
  • Sales and Marketing: Outline your marketing strategies for attracting and retaining customers, including promotions, advertising, and loyalty programs.
  • Management Team: Highlight the qualifications and experience of your management team, especially in the casino and hospitality sectors.
  • Operations Plan: Explain the day-to-day operations of your casino, covering areas like staffing, security, gaming regulations, and responsible gaming practices.
  • Financial Plan: Provide financial projections, including startup costs, revenue forecasts, operating expenses, and profitability estimates for your casino business.
  • Appendix: Include any supporting documents, such as gaming licenses, permits, floor plans, and market research data, to reinforce the credibility of your business plan.
what to include in a business plan

If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.

Step 5: Register Your Business

Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.

Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business! 

Choose where to register your company

Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you are planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to casinos. 

If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state. 

Choose your business structure

Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your casino will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely. 

Here are the main options:

  • Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
  • General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
  • Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts. Here’s how to form an LLC.
  • C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation. Read how to start a corporation here.
  • S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC, which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
types of business structures

We recommend that new business owners choose LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using an online LLC formation service. They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization, and answer any questions you might have. 

Form Your LLC

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Step 6: Register for Taxes

The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number, or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN. 

Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.

The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist, and taxes can be filed online.

It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you are completing them correctly.

Step 7: Fund your Business

Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:

  • Bank loans: This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
  • SBA-guaranteed loans: The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan.
  • Government grants: A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
  • Venture capital: Venture capital investors take an ownership stake in exchange for funds, so keep in mind that you’d be sacrificing some control over your business. This is generally only available for businesses with high growth potential.
  • Angel investors: Reach out to your entire network in search of people interested in investing in early-stage startups in exchange for a stake. Established angel investors are always looking for good opportunities. 
  • Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
  • Friends and Family: Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
  • Personal: Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.

Due to the high startup costs, angel investors or venture capital are probably your best bet.

types of business funding

Step 8: Apply for Caisno Business Licenses and Permits

Business Licenses and Permits

Starting a casino business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments.

You’ll need to check your state’s requirements for gaming licenses and permits.

Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as (DBA), health licenses and permits from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits. 

You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more. 

You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package. They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.

This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.

If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.

Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account

Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account.

Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your casino business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.

Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account. 

Step 10: Get Business Insurance

Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.

Here are some types of insurance to consider:

  • General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
  • Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
  • Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
  • Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
  • Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
  • Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
  • Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
  • Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
types of business insurance

Step 11: Prepare to Launch

Launching a Business

As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business. 

Essential software and tools

Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.  

You may want to use industry-specific software, such as Ensico, or Agilysys, to manage your ticketing, jackpots, player tracking, and rewards. 


  • Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks, Freshbooks, and Xero
  • If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.

Create a website

Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism. You can create your own website using services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace. This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.

Your customers are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization (SEO) practices. SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. 

Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Reserve Now”. This can sharply increase purchases. 


Here are some powerful marketing strategies for your future business:

  1. Loyalty Programs and VIP Memberships: Implement enticing loyalty programs and VIP memberships to reward frequent patrons with exclusive perks, creating a sense of belonging and encouraging repeat visits.
  2. Event Sponsorship and Partnerships: Foster partnerships with local events, sports teams, or entertainment venues to increase brand visibility and attract a diverse audience.
  3. Themed Nights and Special Events: Host themed nights or special events to add excitement and variety, catering to different interests and expanding your customer base.
  4. Social Media Contests and Influencers: Leverage social media by running engaging contests and collaborating with influencers to reach a broader audience and build online buzz.
  5. Mobile App with Exclusive Offers: Develop a mobile app offering exclusive promotions, discounts, and event notifications to keep customers engaged and connected to your casino.
  6. Community Engagement: Actively participate in local community events, charities, and initiatives to build a positive reputation and establish a strong connection with the community.
  7. Customer Feedback and Improvement: Regularly gather customer feedback and use it to enhance services and address concerns, demonstrating a commitment to providing an exceptional experience.
  8. Strategic Advertising: Invest in targeted advertising, both online and offline, focusing on the unique features and experiences your casino offers to attract your ideal customer demographic.
  9. Cross-Promotions with Local Businesses: Collaborate with nearby businesses for cross-promotions, allowing you to tap into each other’s customer bases and mutually benefit.
  10. Gamification and Interactive Experiences: Incorporate gamification elements and interactive experiences within the casino environment to make visits memorable and encourage social sharing.

Focus on USPs

Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your casino meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire. 

Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your casino business could be: 

  • Experience the ultimate thrill of entertainment and fortune at our world-class casino, where every moment is a jackpot waiting to happen
  • Indulge in luxurious gaming, exceptional service, and an unforgettable atmosphere that sets our casino apart from the rest
  • Discover a casino where excitement meets sophistication, offering a diverse range of games, exquisite dining options, and unparalleled hospitality
unique selling proposition


You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a casino business, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in casinos for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections. 

The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in casinos. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership. 

Step 12: Build Your Team

Building a Team for a New Business

If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for a casino business include:

  • Table game dealers
  • Cocktail servers
  • Bartenders
  • Waitstaff for restaurant
  • Cooks
  • Slot machine attendants
  • Cashiers

At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need. 

Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed, Glassdoor, or ZipRecruiter. Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent. 

Step 13: Run a Casino – Start Making Money!

Running a Business

Casinos are great entertainment for adults of all ages, whether they win or lose. They’re also a huge and growing industry in the U.S. and an opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to get in on the action. It’s likely that more areas of the country are going to legalize casinos, so you might be able to capitalize on that to be the first casino in a city that opens its doors. 

Now that you understand the business, it’s time to go all in and get your successful casino off the ground!

Casino Business FAQs

Is a casino profitable?

A casino can be a profitable business, but it depends on various factors such as location, size, competition, and management. Casinos generate revenue primarily through gambling activities, including slot machines, table games like blackjack and poker, sports betting, and other forms of wagering. In addition, they often offer amenities such as restaurants, bars, entertainment shows, and hotels, which can contribute to their overall profitability.

What happens during a typical day at a casino?

During a typical day at a casino, patrons come to gamble and enjoy the various amenities offered. They can play slot machines, participate in table games, or bet on sporting events. The casino staff, including dealers, pit bosses, and slot attendants, ensure the smooth operation of the games and assist the players. The casino may also host special events, tournaments, or promotions to attract more customers.

What is the growth potential of a casino?

The growth potential of a casino depends on several factors. Expansion opportunities may exist in terms of increasing the number of gaming options, expanding the facility, or adding new amenities. A casino can also target new markets by attracting tourists or hosting conventions and conferences. However, growth potential may be limited by factors such as local regulations, competition, and market saturation.

What type of business is a casino?

A casino is primarily a gambling and entertainment business. It falls under the broader category of the hospitality and leisure industry. While gambling is a significant aspect, casinos often provide a range of amenities, including hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, and entertainment venues. These additional offerings aim to attract a diverse clientele and create an enjoyable experience beyond gambling.


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How to Start a Casino