BusinessJenny Moore

Are casinos inherently elitist?

BusinessJenny Moore
Are casinos inherently elitist?
casino elitist

Whether or not you've ever been to a casino, questions such as the how does it feel to be in a casino, what type of person visits a casino, do I need to be rich to visit a casino, etc have all likely played within your mind at some point or another. Casinos are indeed houses of wealth and instant opportunity, but do and likely always will carry a certain feeling that they are mainly meant for those that have the disposable income to splash out on wagers and bets. Is this assumption true? If so, how does it actually manifest itself?

Watch any casino film and you'll be presented with stories and images of sharp-suited individuals flanked with impeccably-dressed floozies, sipping champagne and spending ridiculous amounts of cash. It's no surprise though, that most of these films focus upon the criminal possibilities that casinos bring; there is always an underlying feeling that casinos are too good to be true, take people's hard earned money, and as such, are fine prey for plucky thieves. The reality is that these are all true assumptions and images, although there is a sizeable majority of regular people- some perhaps aspirational of such images- that also play, although aside from in the less exclusive establishments, every player must conform to a certain, rather elitist, form.

Take casino dress codes. In most casinos, visitors will have to wear suits, dresses, or at least 'smart casual' clothing. Players conform to the persona of a superstar with a huge disposable income, this feeling making people spend more, lining the pockets of the casino owners. Establishments will also often impose minimum bet limits, thus keeping out people who can't afford to spend such large sums.

Concerning the casinos themselves, some, such as those in Monte Carlo, will have a very exclusive entry policy- "you have to have X royal titles/offshore accounts/private islands to enter"- although this kind of exclusivity also exists in more provincial casinos. Private rooms and areas that only allow in a certain class of person are very prevalent, and scream elitist ideals.

There is a force working against this kind of elitist thought, however- online casinos. Players of any colour, class or background can simply log on, wager as little or as much as they'd like, enjoy their game of blackjack, win some money and log off. The egalitarian climes of the internet are refreshingly bereft of velvet ropes compared to their land-based brethren, and will likely characterise the future of casinos. Yes, elites will still be able to play in their ivory towers, but at least the perils of aspiration won't wrack the feelings of the less fortunate.