August 21, 2023
Lauren Platero

How Much Does It Cost to Open a Casino? 7 Key Expenses

Casinos are some of the most lucrative and sought-after business models in the hospitality industry. But how much does it cost to open a casino? Well, there are a ton of factors to consider. In this blog, we’ll cover just that!

From paying labor expenses to onboarding tech solutions, there are many costs associated with opening a casino business. Now, without further ado, read on to learn all about it.

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How Much Does It Cost to Open a Casino

The best casinos comprise numerous components that cost money. In total, they can add up to be a fortune. Just think about the monthly casino marketing budget. Or, the legal fees associated with casino risk management. And that’s just scratching the surface! 

Here are the components of a casino that we’ll be covering the prices of:

  • Land and property 
  • Gaming equipment and furniture 
  • Staff members 
  • Surveillance equipment 
  • Legal and financial services 
  • Innovative tech solutions
  • Permits and licenses

Chances are, you’ll need to seek funding prior to becoming a business owner of a casino. Whether it be through investors or bank loans, there are numerous options available. But before we get too ahead of the game, let’s go into some depth about each of these expenses. Read on!

1. Land and Property 

The cost of land to build a casino will heavily depend on location and the state of the real estate industry. The price one would pay to rent out already-existing space will all depend on several elements. Though it's impossible to pinpoint an exact price, this will be the highest of your overhead expenses. Expect to pay well into the millions if it's for rent.

2. Gaming Equipment and Furniture 

From gaming furniture to the casino software that’s necessary for digital games, the star of the show costs a lot of money to maintain. Below, you'll find the average cost for four of the most common casino games:

  • Slot Machines: $1,000
  • Poker Tables: $5,000
  • Blackjack Tables: $5,000
  • Roulette Wheels: $500

Sure you can venture into other casino games, like Craps and Baccarat. However, these pieces of equipment should be enough to begin. And of course, the number of each you purchase depends on the size of the establishment. So, it’s completely up to you. 

3. Staff Members 

The labor cost in a casino can be extremely expensive. However, this figure will depend on a ton of different factors. For one, you need to decide which team members you’re going to employ. Then, you need to determine salaries for each of them. Below, you’ll find a list of the most common positions in a casino with their average salary in the United States:

There’s one thing to keep in mind when determining salaries--most roles in casinos receive tips. So, that’s also why salary ranges can fluctuate so much.

4. Surveillance Equipment

If there's one thing every casino owner should invest in, it's surveillance and security equipment. Casinos are an area where large amounts of money are circulating. So, crimes like theft and fraud can run rampant. 

Use the following list when shopping for surveillance and security equipment. Next to each one is a rough estimate of what it'll cost you:

  • Cameras: $400
  • Recording Devices: $2,000
  • Computer Monitors: $1,000
  • Cloud Storage: $50/month
  • Security Software: $100/year
  • Professional Installation: $1,000
  • IT Support: $3,000/month

Like anything else, these prices can vary depending on the size of your casino and what you need. This is just a ballpark of what each item may run you.

5. Legal and Financial Services

If you're learning how to open a casino, you must be knowledgeable about all the laws and regulations within your jurisdiction. This will include the following elements:

  • Legal Application Preparation 
  • Contractual Agreement Drafts 
  • Legal Compliance Regulations
  • The State's Gaming Laws 
  • Taxation Laws and Regulations 
  • Anti-Money Laundering Laws 
  • Responsible Gambling Protocols
  • Real Estate and Leasing Fees 
  • Litigation Assistance Fees 
  • Employee Labor Fees

Knowing about all these elements is ideal. However, it's crucial to understand the fees and recurring costs associated with each one. These are all for your business' safety and longevity, so they're definitely worth looking into.

6. Innovative Casino Tech 

Casino technology has the potential to completely elevate such a business model. From restaurant tech devices to cloud-based casino management software, there’s a lot to choose from. Since most solutions are based on a subscription model, any associated costs will be monthly. But not all! 

At Revolution Ordering, we offer businesses across the entire hospitality space with innovative restaurant technology. If this is a sector of your casino you’d like to enhance, book a demo with us today! We can't wait to help innovate your casino's dining options.

7. Permits and Licenses 

The question isn't just "how much does it cost to open a casino," but "how do you do it legally?" To be in good legal standing and avoid major issues, one must obtain proper permits and licenses. For the casino industry, you should research the following:

  • Gaming License: >$5,000
  • Business License: >$500
  • Zoning and Land Use Permits: $3,000
  • Liquor License: >$5,000
  • Entertainment License: Price depends on the type of entertainment. 
  • Casino Food License: $3,000
  • Health and Safety Permits: $5,000
  • Responsible Gambling Permit: Price depends on the jurisdiction. 
  • Employment Permits: Price depends on the jurisdiction and number of employees. 
  • Online Gambling License: >$10,000

Again, it's vital to check with local authorities to confirm these costs. However, it's always a good idea to keep a budget for a little extra just in case costs are higher than you assume.

Frequently Asked Questions About How Much Does It Cost to Open a Casino

When you question how much does it cost to open a casino, the responses can be very overwhelming. After all, not everyone has tens of millions of dollars lying around. However, enough of them exist to know that it’s feasible to do so with the right resources. To cover an additional amount of information, check out the following section of frequently asked questions.

Is Owning a Casino Profitable?

Yes, owning a casino can be an extremely profitable business venture. However, there's one way to ensure this. Launch such a business in a geographic area where there are wealthy people or a lot of tourism. This way, you'll be able to fight off the high costs of keeping the business in motion.

Can I Start My Own Casino Business?

Technically, anyone can launch a casino if they have ample funds. Just bear in mind that such money can be upward to $20 million. Not only are there a ton of legalities in the equation, but you need a ton of space. These two factors alone can add up to be a fortune.

How Much Money Do You Make Owning a Casino?

Casino owners can expect to make a minimum annual salary of $166,000. However, casinos in some areas, such as San Francisco are owned by people who can make double this figure. It just all depends on the brand, number of locations, and location.

How Long Does It Take to Build a Casino?

It can easily take a few years to build a casino. That's because they exist within large and complex structures. For example, some casinos are on the floor of a hotel. And even if the structure already exists, it can take a while to install all the casino equipment.

How Much Do Casino Owners Make Per Month?

On average, the owner of a casino can make roughly $13,000 each month. This figure comes from the idea that they make about $160,000 per year. In fact, the whole casino management team can make a hefty salary. 

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Key Takeaways 

Now that you know the answer to the question, “how much does it cost to open a casino,” it’s time to take action. Whether you convert space into the next go-to spot for gamblers or build one from scratch, you know which costs to be mindful of. Just remember that there will be other expenses. Every situation is unique, so you must examine your specific situation thoroughly.