Can anyone open up a casino?

Ever play online casino games and wondered what it would be like to sit on the other side of the table? Instead of deciding whether to bet on red or black, what would it be like to scoop up losing bets from the roulette board? Instead of smiling when you land a big win, what would it be like to see those smiles when you pay out a blackjack from the other side of the table?

It’s perfectly natural to wonder these things. I do it every time I play casino games. And many people assume that opening up a casino is pretty busy. Get a building. Throw some games into it. Hire an interior designer to make it look good and you’re set, right? Wrong. There’s so much more involved.

Below are 10 steps to opening up a casino. In reality, it’s probably more like a 6,000-step process, but we’ve tried to simplify things a bit.

Step 1 – Make sure casinos are legal
inner1opening11092014Not all states are legal where you live. Some jurisdictions only allow certain tribes to open up casinos. Others allow private casinos but have a limit on how many can exist in the state. Double check before you proceed to Step 2.

Step 2 – Create a Business Plan
Whether you’re opening up a food truck that serves gourmet smoked meat sandwiches or a casino that deals out big wins, you need a business plan to land investors. Make sure you highlight projected earnings, marketing, strategy, and more. You’ll also need to conduct a feasibility study to make sure that there’s actually a demand for a casino in your market.

Step 3 – Raise Money
You need cash to get started, and your business plan will help you secure the funds.

Step 4 – Register the casino with the city
inner2opening11092014You’ll need to register the casino even before you start building. So talk to the city on how you go about doing that. In some cases, it could be a simple city application. In other situations, you might need to contact the state or federal government.

Step 5 – Choose a location
Find a location that’s zoned for gaming or something similar. Alternatively, you can ask for zoning amendments, but you will likely face opposition.

Step 6 – Apply for a gaming license
Before you start building, you better make sure you have a license to operate the casino you want to operate.

Step 6 – Start building your casino
You’ll need construction permits before you do anything, so, once again, that involves dealing with the city or state governments. Remember, building isn’t as easy as hiring a few guys. You’ll need to source

Step 7 – Buy gaming equipment

inner3opening11092014Slots. Roulette wheels. Craps tables. Baccarat tables. You’ll need them all. And not just one of each. Lots of them. You’ll also need a high-tech camera system to catch would-be cheaters. And of course safes to store all the money and chips. Aside from building the property, this is by far your second biggest expense.

Step 8 – Hire the right people and train them
You can’t run a casino by yourself. You need dealers. Marketing experts. Food service employees. Pit bosses. Cashiers. Everyone you can think of and even people that you didn’t think of. You also need to perform security background checks on every one of them.

Step 9 – Bombard the media
If you want people to actually know about the opening, you better slam the media with TV spots, radio campaigns, and smart PR. You’ll want to hire an ad agency, a media buying agency, and a PR firm to make sure you get it right. While we listed this as step 9, good PR begins before the license stage.

Step 10 – Open your casino
Don’t forget about a big ribbon-cutting ceremony. You should also offer some sort of first-day giveaways to bring in the crowds. Remember, everyone loves free stuff.

Sounds easy, right? We didn’t think so. Opening up a casino is costly and not very easy. And while there is money to be made, playing casino games will probably make you feel more like a winner.


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