Gaming Analysis Is Essential to the Success of a Casino


A casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, a place where the music blares and champagne glasses clink, but mostly it’s about trying your luck at games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and other table games bring in billions of dollars in profits for casinos each year. But despite the opulence, lights and glamour, some things at a casino just don’t add up.

Something about gambling encourages cheating and stealing, either in collusion or on their own; thus, casinos spend large amounts of time, effort and money on security. Besides employing a staff of casino guards and security officers, many use surveillance technology to watch patrons in the casino. These cameras are able to zoom in on suspicious people and can be adjusted to focus on specific areas. Some casinos also hire mathematicians and computer programmers who specialize in gaming analysis, the mathematical work done to determine the house edge and variance of individual games.

In addition to house edges and variance, these analysts calculate the probabilities of winning or losing at each game so that gamblers can make informed decisions. This analysis is essential to the success of any casino and is a highly complex mathematical endeavor, which explains why so few casinos have in-house mathematicians. In the United States, there are about 51 million people over 21 who visit casinos each year. The majority are legal tourists. They may travel to a destination like Las Vegas, where shuttle buses full of visitors run 24 hours a day or they may visit a local casino where they live.