Casino gaming includes those games that need a casino setting to achieve a significant level of continuing participation.
Included in this category are blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat.
Since significant participation in keno, bingo, slot machines, and policy occurs outside a casino environment, these games are excluded from this category and discussed instead with lotteries.
One of the main attractions of casino gaming is the fact that it is conducted in a self-contained environment— one that is separate from ordinary life activities.
Casino gaming typically attracts occasional players who come to casinos for periodic flings and who often look upon losses as an entertainment cost.
Gambling meccas like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are frequently called adult Disneylands.
For many occasional participants, the casino is a brief escape from real-life concerns. Casino gamers often believe that excursions to the tables relieve tensions brought on by stressful modern lifestyles.
Although the majority of casino gamers are occasional, there is a hard core of regulars who find ways to sustain their participation. Most of these regulars live close to casinos.
Lake Tahoe has a group of approximately fifty regulars who play casino games at least three days per week and a loyal cadre who do so every day.
In general, regular casino gamers tend to be wealthier than participants in other forms of gambling.
In Lake Tahoe, the regulars tend to be self-employed or retired, or they work for casinos; gambling activities do not seriously interfere with their employment routines.
All of the regulars have developed some form of money management that allows them to remain in action for long periods.
Many of these management practices involve restricting losses to set amounts or cutting back during losing streaks.
While at casinos, regulars typically associate with one another and with casino employees such as dealers, croupiers, or pit bosses.
Casino gamblers often learn the working schedules of these employees and play when their favorite dealer or croupier is on duty.
Many regulars said they are treated royally by casino workers, who take their money ‘with a smile’. Being known by name in a casino environment is an important sign of status.
The casino gamers are spread throughout the casino and cannot be as easily identified as sports, horse, or poker bettors, who typically stay in one area. Regulars are most visible late at night and on weekdays during slow tourism periods (May, November, and February).
At these times, they are often the only ones playing, and they banter good-naturedly with one another.