December 06, 2023
By Kim Campbell

Non-gaming revenue plays a significant role in the success of betting-based businesses like casinos. From 2021 to 2022, non-gaming revenue on the Las Vegas Strip increased by 135.1%, according to the Gaming Control Board. With a massive year-over-year increase, non-gaming revenue accounted for 70% of the casinos’ total earnings. Thanks to dining, overnight rooms, entertainment, retail, and casino events, non-gaming income has become a profitable revenue stream.

In this guide, we’re exploring the impact events and entertainment can have on a casino and its success. We’ll examine various casino events, how they can benefit the business, and what your venue should be aware of when hosting them. Whether you’re interested in breaking into the meeting and events industry or attracting more visitors with casino events, you’ve come to the right place.

How casino events generate buzz and boost business

What are casino events?

In addition to operating as a gaming and entertainment destination, most casinos also serve as an event venue. From large-scale demand drivers (e.g., chart-topping musical performances) to small, private events (e.g., birthday or Christmas parties), they can accommodate a wide range of events. They may hold events at an attached special event venue, such as a concert hall or convention center, or inside the casino in a private event space. While some casinos have one room set aside for events, others have multiple meeting rooms or a complex event space that can accommodate numerous events simultaneously.

Many functions, like gambling tournaments and gaming competitions, take place on the casino floor, while other, more intimate events occur in reserved areas with exclusive access. Casinos may also offer private event packages, which include secured table access (i.e., three blackjack tables, two poker tables, and one roulette table), overnight rooms, dining credits, and other perks.

What types of events can casinos host? 

A casino may host various events, but venue facilities play a significant role in determining the types of functions the property can accommodate. Some of the most common casino events include:

  1. Entertainment events

Concerts, creative performances, and other entertainment events are considerable attendance drivers for casinos. Most casinos host more music events than any other type because they can charge high ticket prices, generate revenue from concessions, and draw massive crowds. By hosting several types of musicians and featuring different genres, casinos can appeal to multiple consumer demographics.

Casinos host a range of musical acts, including live music from original artists and tribute bands. Some events are one-night-only, which can create a profitable demand spike, while other casino events repeat over a period of time. Las Vegas is famous for its residency shows, which may last weeks, months, or years. Residency events are powerful revenue drivers, as tourists and fans flock from all over the world to attend.

In addition to musical entertainment, casinos host non-musical performances. Hosting stand-up comedians, magicians, acrobats, and other unique performers is a fantastic way for casinos to attract new visitors to their venue.

  1. Sporting events

Land-based gaming venues that host popular sporting events are more recognizable to the general public. Like musical events, hosting sporting events can help casinos appeal to a broader audience. Mixed-martial arts (e.g., UFC), boxing, professional wrestling (WWE), and other performative sports can attract diverse audiences.

Because many sports enthusiasts enjoy gambling, and with the recent push to legalize sports betting across the country, using athletics to attract customers to your casino could help turn them into loyal customers. Appeal to risk-takers with a competitive edge by hosting poker, slot, or baccarat tournaments after the match.

  1. Charity events

Casinos may use event space to host fundraisers for charities and non-profit organizations. In addition to promoting charitable works, hosting fundraisers is a wonderful way for gaming venues to strengthen their community reputation and introduce a new audience to their business.

From black-tie galas to charity concerts, casinos can use their space to raise funds and awareness. Organize a fundraising dinner and donate a portion of the proceeds to a local organization, or host a Battle of the Bands to raise money for community music programs.

  1. Private parties

Private events, including holiday parties, birthdays, anniversaries, and weddings, are major money-makers for casinos. Properties with multiple event rooms may host numerous private parties on the same day. They may be held in designated event rooms, outdoor reception spaces (i.e., the terrace or patio), dining areas, or other casino facilities.

  1. Corporate events 

Although casinos are all about fun and games, they also make excellent corporate event venues. Small and large companies alike may look to your property for conference space, to host team-building events, or to accommodate a corporate retreat. Because many casinos supply food throughout the day, they are fantastic venues for all-day or multi-day events that require breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Invite corporate planners to host a business lunch at one of the casino’s restaurants or book a retirement party in the banquet room. Offer enticing discounts for large room blocks and create corporate retreat packages to attract large companies.

  1. Trade shows and conventions 

Businesses and corporations flock to gaming destinations like Las Vegas for conventions and trade shows. With world-class resorts, ample event space, bustling attractions, a surplus of dining options, and endless entertainment, gambling towns are fantastic locations to host an exciting event that provides attendees with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

  1. Virtual events

In addition to in-person gatherings, many casinos host virtual events to attract new customers. From remote gaming tournaments and virtual promotions to social media challenges and live streams, online events have become crucial to effective casino and destination marketing.

Promote a virtual casino tour, host live Q&A sessions via video, or advertise hybrid event services that combine on-site and remote technology. Invite remote consumers to attend live events from the comfort of their own homes. Sell virtual tickets to high-profile events, such as concerts and title fights, to maximize their revenue potential.

Stay on the cutting edge of hospitality technology

How is event business different from typical casino business? 

The look of day-to-day casino operations depends on the types of facilities inside the venue. Typically, gamers visit the floor daily. They may stop at the restaurant, supporting the food and beverage sector, or check in to an overnight room, driving business through accommodations. However, most casino events occur outside standard operating procedures, with separate staffing, inventory, and management responsibilities. Unless the casino is exclusively reserved for a large event, special events take place alongside traditional gameplay without interrupting guests.

Casinos with access to a more extensive population base typically host more events than gaming locations in less dense areas. They may host 10 to 15 events monthly, with multiple functions occurring every weekend. In addition to large-scale events, venues with restaurants, spa services, or a Players Club host regular floor show entertainment and private parties.

Depending on the level of event services casinos provide, they may have a dedicated event staff whose duties lie outside of day-to-day gaming operations. Event teams may include a sales and events manager (or managers), event coordinators, special event hosts, event service staff (e.g., servers, bartenders), or specialty service employees, like valets.

The benefits of hosting casino events

Introducing event services can benefit your business in many ways. From expanding your audience reach to increasing profits, hosting events can help casinos and other gaming businesses.

  • Reach new market segments. Open previously closed doors by adding events and entertainment to your venue offerings. If you’ve struggled to bring working professionals to the casino, hosting corporate events can help get them through the door. Once onsite, impress visitors with superior service and high-quality offerings. Similarly, hosting concerts, sporting events, and specialty entertainment can make your venue more appealing to locals who need something fun to do.
  • Connect with the community. Host events that bring members of the surrounding area to the casino by filling a hole in the market. What are the demographics for your destination? Is it a small town or a booming metropolis? Are most of the residents blue or white-collar workers? What entertainment venues are already around? What’s missing? In a small town or mostly-locals market, promoting two to three monthly concerts could draw quite a crowd, especially if you’re the only concert venue around.
  • Increase profit margins. The overhead costs required to keep rows and rows of slot machines running each day are massive, and the casino is losing money for every empty machine and table on the gaming floor. However, hosting events provides an opportunity to earn revenue with unused floor space while boosting business in other areas, including lodging and dining. Maximize your venue’s revenue potential by getting more out of every square foot of floor space.
  • Outshine the competition. In competitive markets with multiple gaming venues, entertainment can be the X-factor that helps a casino stand out. Set your business apart and attract a vast clientele by hosting exciting casino events that give the community something to discuss.

What should casinos watch out for when hosting events? 

While events can be powerful revenue drivers, hosting them comes with unique challenges. Whether small or large, private or public, casino events may lead to:

  • Higher costs. Hosting large-scale events, like superstar concerts or high-profile sporting matches, comes with added expense. Additional security, specialized staff training, and increased inventory needs aren’t cheap, so casinos must balance hosting costs and potential profits when scheduling upcoming events.
  • Staffing challenges. A single event can require lots of demanding work. Finding qualified event staff on short notice may be challenging and expensive. Additionally, overbooking events can cause employee burnout, reducing retention and satisfaction rates. To host large or intricate events, casinos need a team of event staff with unique skills and technical expertise.
  • More marketing needs. Getting the word out about casino events takes time, energy, and a marketing budget. If the marketing department is short-staffed or the budget is too tight, it may be difficult to promote upcoming events adequately, which may cause the casino to lose money.
  • Complex liability concerns. Whether booking performers, an athletic team, or an international corporation, it’s critical to know how much liability coverage each involved party holds, just in case. Because alcohol, competitive events, and rowdy behavior often go hand-in-hand, casinos must protect themselves by ensuring that every party is adequately covered. Hosting events may require expanding gaming and casino operator coverage.

Tips for hosting casino events

Whether stepping into the event game for the first time or looking for ways to improve your casino’s current event strategy, these tips can help your venue boost business.

  1. Get to know your market 

Casino visitor demographics are changing, with the average age of visitors dropping to 42. Millennial and Gen Z consumers are taking over the pack, with individuals aged 25-34 making up the majority of casino visitors in 2023. Getting to know the customers in your market can help your casino identify which events will draw the highest number of local attendees.

Learn more about your guests through performance reporting and market demographics. Explore customer data to determine which age groups and cultural backgrounds are most prevalent in the community. Organizing two to three events celebrating Latin-American culture in destinations with a larger Hispanic population could help attract community residents, generating a more extensive local customer base.

In addition to consumer demographics, consider nearby attractions when selecting which events to host at your casino. Are there numerous stand-up comedy clubs nearby? If so, avoid booking stand-up comics and trying to compete in an already oversaturated market. Instead, appeal to comedy fans by hosting improv troupes, drag shows, and other laugh-out-loud events.

  1. Build an event network  

Build strong relationships with event planners, hosts, and attendees. Get to know your neighbors and connect with other gaming businesses nearby by hosting casual professional events, like happy hours or a networking mixer. Invite community leaders and prospective clients to an open house. Give a tour of your event spaces, serve the casino’s best dishes, and highlight what makes the property an excellent, versatile venue.

  1. Keep up with the competition 

Imitation is one of the sincerest forms of flattery, so don’t be afraid to watch your comp set closely. Research venues that inspire you and review their past events. What kinds of events are they hosting? Have they been successful? Identify the most popular promotions and put your own spin on them. Change the theme or event length, and pay tribute to the casino that inspired you.

  1. Get guest feedback 

If you’re not sure what your customers want, ask them. Give event attendees scorecards or send a post-event survey via email. What did they like about the event? What could have been done better? What’s missing? What kind of events do they want the casino to host? Ask questions that will help you improve future events.

  1. Attract destination events with experience-first marketing

Appeal to travelers and event planners seeking an immersive destination for their next event. Partner with destination marketing organizations in your area to entice large companies and corporate event planners to come to your region. Promote upcoming casino events, meeting facilities, A/V capabilities, and must-see local attractions. Attract destination events by advertising an all-inclusive, unforgettable experience.

Learn from the best in meetings and events

Frequently asked questions about managing casino events

Who’s in charge of casino events? What do they do? How much do they make? Keep reading to learn more about casino event management.

  1. Who is in charge of casino events? 

The structure of casino event management is based on the venue’s size, staffing, and departmental makeup. The front-of-house or sales manager may direct events at locations with minimal event space. At more sizable gaming locations, a casino events manager may oversee an entire department of event staff.

  1. What is a casino events manager? 

The casino events manager is responsible for planning, coordinating, and executing special events. In addition to negotiating contracts, gathering vendor quotes, and bidding on potential business, a casino events manager is responsible for ensuring that events go smoothly so that guests enjoy their visit and return in the future.

  1. How much does a casino events manager make? 

According to, casino special events managers earned an average annual salary of $59,928 in 2023. The pay for any casino position will fluctuate based on location, market conditions, professional experience, and other factors.

Start harnessing the power of casino events

Now, you’re ready to host casino events that appeal to a broad audience. From corporate planners to your non-gaming neighbors, you can organize unique and memorable events to attract any consumer demographic. Start filling the event calendar and spreading the word with casino marketing strategies that actually work

Headshot of Cvent writer Kimberly Campbell

Kim Campbell

Kim is a full-time copy and content writer with many years of experience in the hospitality industry. She entered the hotel world in 2013 as a housekeeping team member and worked her way through various departments before being appointed to Director of Sales. Kim has championed numerous successful sales efforts, revenue strategies, and marketing campaigns — all of which landed her a spot on Hotel Management Magazine’s “Thirty Under 30” list.

Don’t be fooled though; she’s not all business! An avid forest forager, post-apocalyptic fiction fan, and free-sample-fiend, Kim prides herself on being well-rounded.

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