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How Does A Casino Make A Profit?

Your casino is a unique addition to your marketplace and an attractive destination for your audience. But do they know that? Your location can evolve from a middle-of-the-pack competitor to an industry-leading powerhouse with the right casino marketing. That's where this blog post comes in.

In this post, we explore tried and true casino marketing strategies that are sure to boost your business — both now and in the long run. The best part? The majority of the following ideas are easy and inexpensive to implement.

Strategies To Maximize Your Casino

Boost discoverability.

Because competition among casinos is so tough, discoverability is incredibly important. Discoverability refers to how easy (or hard) it is for your audience to find you online.

Imagine you are one of your potential guests searching for a great casino. How easy would it be to find yours online? Try typing some searches in various search engines, looking up reviews on travel sites, and searching social media for casinos like yours. By noting how often your casino comes up and how highly it's ranked in search results, you can understand how good your discoverability is. To best understand where things currently stand, we recommend using marketing and SEO tools such as Moz and SEMrush.

In addition to investing in tools, you can boost discoverability online for your casino in a few ways:

  • Create separate landing pages for each of your most important amenities. Use keyword phrases related to those amenities and high-quality images, appropriate captioning, and catchy headlines.
  • Use search engine advertising appropriately. According to Google's policies, "Gambling ads must target approved countries, have a landing page that displays information about responsible gambling, and never target minors." Check local regulations for the areas you want to target and your offerings. Once you know the local regulations, test ads for keyword phrases relevant to your offerings.
  • Create social media profiles for the channels your audience cares most about. Participate in conversations about gaming, your casino, local news, and other things happening in the community.
  • Optimize your content for keywords related to your amenities, location, unique offerings, and latest events — not just your casino. Please focus on the things that make you stand out so that future visitors can find you when they search for those things.
  • Consider using beacons or other proximity marketing tactics to boost guest interest if they're in the area. This is particularly helpful when competing against other casinos within walking distance. This, and other location-based marketing strategies, help you target customers in the real world instead of online.
  • Use strategic partnerships and co-marketing relationships with local businesses, entertainers, event suppliers, food vendors, and others to "boost the signal" and increase word of mouth mentions of your casino.

Places like Vegas in America might be synonymous with gambling, but the United States is nowhere near us in terms of gambling losses per person. Australia is by far the world's gambling capital when it comes to gambling losses per capita. According to a 2017 study by H2 Gambling Capital, gambling losses per capita in Australia were $US958 that year. In second was Hong Kong at $768 per capita – the United States was ninth with $421 lost per capita. Given the ease-of-access and normalization of gambling in Australia, a wise punter wouldn't put money on us losing 'top-spot' any time soon.

Gambling is commonplace in the Australian culture, and it's almost impossible not to be exposed to it, especially when watching TV or sport. But despite the rise of online betting on sports, racing and the winner of The Bachelor, pokies still reign supreme.

The majority ($20.1 billion) of Australia's gambling losses in 2017-18 were on the pokies, called slot machines in the US and fruit machines in the UK. Australia has 20% of all of them worldwide. Why? Because we're one of few countries that permits these machines outside of casinos - frequenting pubs, bars, and even sporting clubs, except for Western Australia.

In 2017, the Australian Institute of Family Studies found more than 200,000 active pokie machines in Australia, with 100,000 of them in NSW. You can walk into pretty much any pub or sporting club, plop yourself down at a machine and mindlessly press a button. In Victoria, 90% of AFL teams operate their pokies. They're easy to access, and they're everywhere.

There are regulations on pokies in Australia – you can't place a bet of more than $5, for example, and NSW recently put a 20% cap on new pokie machines in problem gambling areas – but they appear to have little impact. These machines also have mandatory return to player ratios: at least 85% in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory, 87% in the ACT and 87.5% in South Australia. That means that over the life of the game in South Australia (often several years), it must return at least 87.5% of the wagered amounts to the player, so the gambling venues retain a maximum of 12.5% of the turnover.

In essence, each bet on the pokies makes you feel good. And when you combine this with the sheer multitude of the things around, it's no wonder we use them so much.

Sports Betting

Sports betting, particularly among young men and low-income people, is gaining popularity exponentially. For example, betting on racing grew by just under 13% from 2015-16 to 2016-17, while sports betting grew by 4%. In 2017-18 there was a far more prominent growth in sports betting, with this category increasing by 14.9% year-on-year while racing grew by 8.1%. 

As of March 30 2018, gambling ads are banned on mainstream tv during sports games before 8.30 pm of March 2018, but platforms like youtube are exempt, so anyone in their target demographic (such as young males or people who've placed a bet before) are incredibly likely to see an ad from a betting company. Banner ads online are everywhere, and those who link their mobile number to betting accounts (which is often required) receive text messages about upcoming games or deals unless they respond by saying 'STOP'.

Anyone with a smartphone or laptop can open their betting app and place a punt on the game they're watching, or one that's taking place halfway around the world, which is a cause for concern for many high-profile people. Speaking to the ABC, Dr Chris Hunt, a clinical psychologist at the University of Sydney's Gambling Treatment and Research Centre, said: "It's been such an ingrained part of Australian culture for such a long time. So I think we should be concerned about the availability of betting and the promotion of betting in sport."

If you're anything like the average Australian, gambling doesn't affect your savings in a good way. We've written previously about how the average person here saves $533 per month or $6,396 per year. The average gambling loss of $1,260 per person reduces these yearly savings to over $5,137. This equates to billions of lost savings for Australians every year. And obviously, many problem gamblers would be losing tens of thousands of dollars every year, far eclipsing their savings.

Even if you don't have a problem with gambling, the small amounts here and there can add up over time, especially if you don't make any returns. According to a 2012 study by the government of South Australia, 93% of non-problem gamblers bet less than $50 at any one time, but even a few of these bets can equal hundreds of dollars.

FAQs About Casino And Gambling

The effects of gambling

When you think of the effects of gambling, certain things spring to mind. Like financial worries, relationship difficulties and other serious issues. But you might not be aware of the emotional effects of gambling, which many people experience no matter how much or how often they bet. These effects start small and often build up, causing stress in our lives. But they don't have to. Because if you understand what's causing stress, you can take the pressure off yourself or help a loved one do the same.

Emotional stress from gambling

Gambling is all about emotions. There's the fun of winning, the enjoyment of socializing or the familiar routine of some downtime on the pokies. But there are other emotions too, like stress, regret and a little guilt, which most people feel at some point, even if only briefly. It's easy to forget about this side of gambling, but these feelings often build up, even if you're not gambling very much or very often. And from there, you can find yourself feeling a little down – often without knowing why. You might be short-tempered, easily annoyed or stressed. Then, suddenly, you're feeling the effects of gambling. It might not happen straight away, which is probably why many people don't understand the negative effects of gambling. But it's worth being aware that gambling is not all about the money. It's about how it can make you feel and act.

How Are People Being Affected?

Gambling can affect how you feel, no matter how much or how often you do it. But is that true for you or someone you care about? These checklists may help you answer that question.

  • I celebrate when I win but keep quiet when I lose.
  • I think about gambling when I'm not doing it.
  • I sometimes feel guilty after gambling.
  • I've put off doing or buying other things so I can gamble.
  • I've spent more than intended.
  • I've snapped at family members or friends over little things.
  • I've had trouble concentrating at work.
  • I sometimes feel regret after gambling.
  • I've found it difficult to unwind or sleep.
  • I've been drinking or smoking more than usual.
  • I miss out on other activities on a night out because I overspend on gambling.

If any of these are true for you, you could be feeling the effects of gambling. While this doesn't mean you have a problem, it does mean that gambling could be the reason when you're feeling stressed or down. By keeping this in mind, you can be more aware of the effects of gambling and be more mindful of your gambling choices.

Signs Of Harm From Gambling

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Long before it looks like a problem, gambling can be causing harm. Harm from gambling isn't just about losing money. Gambling can affect self-esteem, relationships, physical and mental health, work performance and social life. In addition, it can harm the person who gambles and family, friends, workplaces, and communities. Here are some signs of gambling harm you can look for.

  • Initial signs of harm:
    • having less time or money to spend on recreation and family
    • reduced savings
    • increased consumption of alcohol
    • feelings of guilt or regret
  • Advanced signs of harm:
    • relationship conflict
    • reduced work or study performance
    • financial difficulties
    • Anger
    • feelings of shame and hopelessness

Pursue events and group business.

There is so much more to your casino than just the gaming floor. You may have a luxurious hotel offering, cutting-edge technology, flexible event and entertainment spaces, award-winning spa and health club amenities, or delicious restaurants to offer your guests as well. So when it comes to your casino marketing, you need to be thinking about the big picture. Casinos are often perfect venues for large events, including weddings, conferences, business retreats, group luncheons, and family reunions. Therefore, your marketing needs to include specific messaging and targeting for events and group businesses to attract these types of opportunities.

Cvent's Competitive Ads™ for hotels and other destinations could be a great fit for your casino marketing as you try to attract more group business. Competitive Market Ads give your major casino exposure to planners who are searching in similar areas or sister markets, helping you earn group business that you otherwise may not be exposed to. In addition, search Ads™ put you top of mind and give you prominent exposure when event planners are searching for solutions — the time when they have the highest intent to follow through on their searches.

Gambling In Australia Statistics

The latest statistics published by the Queensland Treasury in the 35th edition of Australian Gambling Statistics (regarded as the authoritative source of gambling statistics in Australia) show that, in total, Australians bet more than $242 billion in 2017-18. Two. Hundred. Forty-Two. Billion. The previous year (16-17), this figure was $208 billion.

Averaged out across all 19.75 million Australians aged over 18 (based on Australian Bureau of Statistics data), this is more than $12,000 per person! Of the various forms of gambling:

  • $25.8 billion was spent on racing ($1,340 per capita)
  • $181.4 billion was spent on gaming, like casinos and the pokies ($9,419 per capita)
  • $11.6 billion on sports betting ($603 per capita) 

That's the total amount spent: not every dollar spent on gambling is lost - that's the whole risk-reward appeal. The same report tallied our national gambling losses at just under $25 billion - $24.88 billion, to be exact. Per person, that's more than $1,260 lost to gambling every year, and a 5% increase on the figures from 2016-17. We can break these losses down into:

  • $3.5 billion on racing ($177 per person) - a 7.1% increase
  • $20.1 billion on gaming ($1,017 per person) - a 3.9% increase
  • $1.23 billion on sports betting ($62 per person) - a 16.3% increase

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So the average man and woman over 18 in this country is losing $1,260 per year just on gambling. That's $1,260 that could be going towards people's loan repayments, mortgages, credit card bills, savings accounts or investments. It's an extra $1,260 that could be spent on their families or friends. And remember how averages work: countless people lose well over this amount every year. Some people will be losing tens of thousands to the game of chance.  Alliance for Gambling Reform Chief Advocate Rev Tim Costello said the impacts of these disturbingly high losses could no longer be tolerated. 

The Social Cost Of Gambling

In November 2017, the Victorian Problem Gambling Foundation found more than just a personal cost to gambling in Australia. This research found that in 2014-15, the cost of problem gambling in Australia totalled $7 billion:

  • $2.2 billion – family and relationship problems
  • $1.6 billion – emotional and psychological issues, including distress, depression, suicide and violence
  • $1.3 billion – financial losses
  • $1.1 billion – costs to the Victorian government, such as research, regulation, and professional support services
  • $600 million – lost productivity and other work-related costs
  • $100 million – costs of crime

And that's just the state of Victoria – the total cost country-wide will be much more. So gambling can cost people dearly in the form of addictive habits, emotional and mental problems, lost productivity at work, crime and the breakdown of relationships. And when you consider that the government rakes in roughly $6 billion a year in tax revenue from gambling, it appears that it does have a net-negative effect on society at the moment.

Other key statistics

Here are a few other key gambling statistics from the Australian Institute of Family Studies:

  • There are 6.8 million regular gamblers in Australia – 39% of the population.
  • Participation in lotteries was most common (76%), followed by instant scratch tickets (22%) and electronic gaming machines (EGMs) (21%)
  • Males are over-represented among gamblers – 54% of gamblers are males versus 49% of the adult population.
  • Gamblers generally spent around half their overall gambling outlay on a single product.
  • Mean expenditure was lower among gamblers who had a university degree and lived in a house with children.
  • 1.39 million Australian adults had experienced one or more gambling-related problems in 2015
  • Gamblers living in low-income households spent, on average, a much greater proportion of their household's total disposable income on gambling than high-income households (10% vs 1%)
  • Problem gamblers in low-income households spent the greatest proportion (27%)—equivalent to four times the average yearly household utility bills.
  • Another fun fact: NSW pokie machines made $6.5 billion in profit in 2019 - that's roughly the GDP of the entire country of Fiji. 

Conclusion:

It would be best to remember that any casino online for real money with no investment is aimed at making a profit. It will not just give out bonuses and allow them to wage without effort. It is always necessary to thoroughly study the conditions of their application and the rules of the game on specific slots. It is important to engage in conscious gambling, do not play for more than 40 minutes without a break. If a lot of bonus money or free spins have been received, it is better to divide them into a couple of parts. So the chances of wagering will be higher. To learn more about how you can play, and most importantly, win at online casinos, you can here.

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