How Much Does It Cost to Own a Casino: A Comprehensive Guide to Expenses and Investments

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Deciding to own a casino is thrilling, but figuring out the costs and investments involved can be daunting. With licensing fees for land-based casinos reaching up to $770,675 per year alone, it’s certainly not a small investment.

In this article, we break down the specifics of owning various types of casinos from online ones to traditional establishments – detailing everything from startup expenses to daily operation costs.

Get ready as we guide you through the exciting world of casino ownership!

Key Takeaways

  • The cost of owning a land – based casino includes factors such as location, size, slot machines and electronic games, licensing, and casino tables and furniture.
  • Opening an online casino requires an initial investment of $1 million or more for website development, software licensing, and marketing expenses.
  • Riverboat casinos can require substantial investments ranging from several million dollars up to tens of millions. Expenses include licenses, outfitting the boat with tables and machines, security measures, and staffing needs.
  • Operating costs for owning a casino include cash on hand for expenses like employee salaries and customer payouts, as well as licensing fees and financing options.

Cost Factors for Opening a Land-based Casino

Location is a crucial cost factor for opening a land-based casino.


Choosing the right location for your casino is crucial and directly impacts the overall cost. Purchasing property in major cities like Las Vegas may incur a higher price tag. The average cost of buying a casino in such sought-after locations can vary greatly, largely depending on the specific property you’re eyeing for purchase.

If you opt for smaller towns or peripheral areas outside city limits, expect to shell out less cash initially. However, this decision could affect your revenue potential due to lower pedestrian traffic and lesser accessibility for tourists.

Before making an investment, thorough market research is imperative as it gives insight into customer preferences and potential profitability within different geographical regions.


Building a casino requires careful consideration of its size. The cost of constructing a small physical casino can range from $50,000 to $200,000, while medium-sized casinos may require an investment of $500,000 or more.

The size of the casino will influence various expenses, such as the cost of land and construction materials. Additionally, larger casinos tend to have higher operating costs due to maintenance and staffing requirements.

Therefore, potential owners should carefully assess their budget and business goals when determining the appropriate size for their casino venture.

Slot Machines and Electronic Games

Slot machines and electronic games are essential components of a casino. They not only attract players but also contribute to the overall revenue of the establishment. Here are some important facts about the costs associated with slot machines and electronic games:

  1. The price range for slot machines can vary significantly, starting from a few hundred dollars for used or refurbished models to thousands of dollars for brand new, high-end machines.
  2. Along with the purchase cost, there are ongoing expenses such as maintenance and repair, which may require additional investment.
  3. Electronic games, including video poker machines and electronic roulette, can also be expensive to acquire. Prices can range from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars per unit.
  4. It’s essential to consider the number of slot machines or electronic games that will be installed in your casino. The larger the casino, the more machines will be needed, increasing both the initial investment and ongoing costs.
  5. Software development is another crucial aspect to consider when it comes to electronic games. Customized software development can incur additional expenses but might provide unique features tailored to your casino.


Owning a casino involves obtaining the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally. The cost of licensing can vary, with yearly fees averaging around $770,675, in addition to taxes.

Obtaining a casino license is essential and ensures compliance with regulatory requirements. However, the specific cost will depend on factors such as location and jurisdiction. It’s crucial for cost-conscious buyers to factor in licensing expenses when considering the overall investment required to own a casino.

Casino Tables and Furniture

The cost of casino tables and furniture can vary depending on the size and style of the establishment. On average, a high-quality blackjack table can cost around $1,800, while a roulette table can range from $2,500 to $3,500.

Additionally, poker tables can start at $600 but can go up to $5,000 for more luxurious options. Investing in comfortable chairs for players is also important and can range from $150 to $300 per chair.

Overall, outfitting a casino with tables and furniture requires careful consideration of the budget and desired aesthetic while ensuring player comfort and functionality are not compromised.

Cost to Open an Online Casino

Opening an online casino can be a substantial investment. On average, a successful online casino requires an initial investment of $1 million or more. This significant cost is due to various factors such as website development, software licensing, and marketing expenses.

Additionally, ongoing maintenance and customer support are necessary for the smooth operation of an online casino. It’s important to keep in mind that while the upfront costs may seem high, owning and operating an online casino can be a profitable venture in the long run.

The daily operational costs of running an online casino also need to be considered. These costs include payment processing fees, server hosting fees, and marketing expenses to attract players.

It’s crucial to have a solid financial plan in place to ensure that you can cover these ongoing expenses while still turning a profit.

Overall, opening an online casino comes with both high upfront costs and ongoing operational expenses. However, with careful planning and effective management, it can be a lucrative business opportunity for those willing to invest the time and money required for success.

Cost to Open a Riverboat Casino

Opening a riverboat casino entails specific costs that need to be considered. These floating gambling establishments can require substantial investments, ranging from several million dollars up to tens of millions.

The expenses involved in opening a riverboat casino include acquiring the necessary licenses which can vary depending on the state and regulatory requirements. Additionally, there are costs associated with outfitting the boat with casino tables and furniture, as well as purchasing slot machines and electronic games.

It’s also crucial to factor in other operational costs such as security measures and staffing needs to ensure smooth operations onboard. With careful planning and financial resources, owning a riverboat casino can be a lucrative venture in the highly competitive gambling industry.

Operating Costs

Operating costs for owning a casino include cash on hand, security measures, licensing fees, and financing. Learn more about the ongoing expenses involved in running a successful casino.

Cash On Hand & Security

To open and operate a casino, having a substantial amount of cash on hand is crucial. Cash on hand refers to the funds readily available in the casino’s bank accounts or as physical cash reserves.

This money is used for various purposes, such as paying employee salaries, covering operating expenses, and handling customer payouts. The total amount of cash on hand needed can vary depending on the size and scale of the casino operation.

For example, starting an online casino typically requires an investment of at least $20 million in cash alone, while land-based casinos may need even more. In addition to ensuring sufficient cash flow, maintaining tight security measures is also essential to prevent theft and fraud within the establishment.

Licensing & Financing

Obtaining a license is an essential step in operating a casino, with costs that can vary depending on location and regulations. On average, the licensing fees for owning a land-based casino can amount to $770,675 per year, along with additional taxes.

These expenses are necessary to comply with legal requirements and ensure the smooth operation of your establishment. Furthermore, financing is crucial when it comes to starting or purchasing a casino.

Startup costs can range from $50,000 to $2 million depending on the size and scope of your project. Additionally, cash-on-hand requirements for launching a casino may exceed $20 million.

It’s important to carefully consider these factors in order to make informed decisions about licensing and financing options as you embark on this venture.

In terms of online casinos, obtaining licenses and developing gaming software come with their own set of costs. For instance, successful online casinos typically require an investment of at least $1 million or more.


Opening and owning a casino comes with significant expenses and investments. From licensing fees to startup costs, the financial requirements can be substantial. Whether it’s a land-based or online casino, careful planning and financing are crucial for success in this industry.

Understanding the costs involved is essential for anyone considering venturing into the world of casino ownership.


1. What is the average cost to own a casino?

The average cost of owning a casino can vary greatly and includes expenses for land, building, slot machines, licensing, management and day-to-day operations.

2. How much would it cost to start a small physical casino?

Starting a small physical casino involves various costs such as land purchase or lease, construction or renovation expenses, purchasing gaming equipment like slot machines and obtaining necessary licenses.

3. What are the main investments when starting a medium-sized Casino?

Major investments when starting up medium-sized casinos include buying or leasing land, investing in software development for managing operations efficiently and setting aside funds for daily running costs.

4. Can you tell me about the operational costs of running a Casino per day?

Operational costs of running a casino per day include salaries for staff members ,utilities bills,maintenance charges of equipment,and other overheads based on your location,revenue generation capabilities also play an important role in determining profitability

5.What is involved in obtaining proper licensing?

Obtaining proper licensing involves paying required fees to local authorities; this varies from place to place such as California or Las Vegas but remains one fundamental startup cost for every new Casino establishment.

6.Is buildingmy ownLandbased Casino more expensive than buying an existing one?

It depends on multiple factors such as current market condition,size and location amongst others.While initial setup could be higher for building one,the control over aesthetics design,customer experience,safety standards etc might offer better long term financial prospects compared with simply buying an already built-up facility,yet both involve substantial investment.

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