September 9, 2017
State operated, land based casinos are a major source of revenue for many states. They offer many of the same gaming experiences as Las Vegas casinos such as the traditional blackjack and poker table games, as well as a large variety of slot machines. Technology has changed the style of the slots, transforming them into a visual entertainment experience mimicking games and game shows such as Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune.
Instead of marketing the casinos as places to gamble, the experience has been repackaged as gaming. Critics say it is clearly a way to make losing your money as fun because the odds are always in favor of the casino. But the amount a player spends at a slot machine can be as little as five cents per play while getting the benefit of being visually entertained. Add to this the fact that many casinos also offer live entertainment and popular restaurants to eat at, and the casino is now an adult getaway.
State operated casinos differ from privately owned casinos in two ways. The first is that by law, the casino has to pay out a certain percentage of gaming money back to the players in the form of winnings, called the pay off percentage. The second is that while the states take in millions of dollars each year from casino operations, most of that money is returned to the public to fund public programs such as education or senior citizen programs that benefit all its citizens.
Looking toward the future, states are now looking at online casinos for additional sources of revenue. The Department of Justice ruled that online gaming (excluding sports betting) did not violate any Federal laws, and gave each state the right to decide whether or not it was legal for their citizens. Nevada and New Jersey are two states that already allow online gaming if you are within the geographical boundaries of the state.