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Three considerations if following “The House” and turning your home into a casino


23 Mar 2017

The appeal of starting up your own casino from home is obvious. Casinos have reputations for being reliable moneymakers and so appear to offer one of the more sure-fire ways to make big bucks.

Underround casinos do exist, whether it’s to play games not offered in legal venues, gamble in a less trackable manner, get paid in straight cash rather than chips that need to be traded or flutter in a more convenient location.

The subject of underground casinos is likely to become more of a talking point in the coming months upon the release of the film “The House”, starring Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler and due to hit cinema screens in early summer.

The film’s storyline sees the couple lacking the money to afford their daughter’s tuition. But rather than take out a student loan or approach the bank, setting up a casino in the basement of their home is a more attractive proposition.

Although we have only seen the trailer, it’s fairly safe to assume that the family in question failed to fully prepare for their change in earning direction.

For anyone considering making a similar switch in occupation towards illegal casino proprietor, here are a list of three things that they should consider in some detail before diving right in at the deep end:

Games available

Head into most legal casinos and visitors have the choice of a host of different games. There are slot machines and loads of them, blackjack tables, roulette wheels, poker rooms and baccarat among others.

Most homes are not going to have the space to cater to such a widespread of games or even offer multiple tables of the same game, so decisions need to be made wisely.

The logical approach would be to focus on games that more people are familiar with, meaning they are more likely to understand the rules and therefore be more inclined to play.

Also, games with the higher house edge would make more sense to prioritise as they would theoretically deliver the biggest profit over time.

Roulette seems to fit both moulds, especially if opting for a US wheel which contains both a 0 and a 00. This stands the house edge at 5.26%.

Slots have the advantage in terms of offering more gaming opportunity per square footage of space, but there would be a hefty initial outlay to purchase the machines and then maintain them in full working order.


One of the possible pitfalls with offering roulette is the vast amounts that may need to be paid out.

Betting straight up on a number provides odds of 35/1. If four of five players all stake £10 on the same number and the ball lands on it, a proprietor would need to pay £350 to each. Obviously, enough money would need to be stored on site to cover these victories.

Not only does this ask questions of a proprietor’s immediate bank balance, but also their security if they have buckets full of hard cash stored at their home.

The word will undoubtedly do the rounds to encourage thieves, while should someone get seriously injured on your property, difficult questions are sure to be asked.

Other security elements to consider would be players stealing losing chips off the layout in roulette or players even bringing their own chips if they are a familiar brand.

Getting Players

Advertising using typical methods is obviously a no-go area for an illegal casino, as targeting a mass audience will alert the wrong people who could shut you down.

So no posters on the front of bridges, signs on trees or links on popular websites.

The best way of recruiting players is probably through word of mouth, but sticking to small and select communities and those trusted to only inform like-minded people.

Equally those in high-profile jobs who won’t want it leaked that they are caught up in illegal activity would be good visitors in terms of them keeping quiet and coming equipped with solid bank balances.

For a relatively small operation, it is probable that you wouldn’t have enough space in any case to deal with hundreds of people wanting to participate. Having a queue on your front lawn of players wanting to come in wouldn’t do much for keeping things discreet.

DISCLAIMER: This article is in no way an endorsement or encouragement of this activity, merely an analysis of the factors relevant to such a setup.