Casinos are a bit confusing to me. I have 3 casinos and I built my Sci-fi casino. My first two casinos easily make me money, the first one here:

easily makes me 40k a day

this one here below it:

makes a lot less, but still positive income

Now the new sci-fi casino that I built makes SO much less, its actually 9k negative. My question is why do the casinos make such a different amount of money, and why does the Sci-fi casino steal money from me, while the other two make so much? (I have given it about a month of time to see if it would begin making money)

  • 1
    Casions were (still are?) bugged. Anything other than gambling houses is potentially still wonky. Mar 12, 2013 at 17:13
  • Would you update your question to include which "add-ons" are on each of your casinos? Mar 12, 2013 at 17:26

3 Answers 3


MaxisMC: There are some known balance issues with the casino specialization that are being investigated. Improving your city's tourist attraction by adding landmarks and mass transit will help. It is possible to get the HQ, and focusing on one casino might help, but it is a lot more difficult than intended.

Looks like there was a last minute adjustment of non-basic casinos that adjusted their profitability that is being reviewed by Maxis.

In my last casino city I did have (2x basic casinos) and a sci-fi casino going at roughly breakeven with one disco and 2x hotel low wealth rooms. With this setup I was maxing out on low wealth patrons but only a smattering of mid-wealth patrons. (Oh and I did have Toyko tower to bring in the tourists).

I would suggest:

  • better mass transit: train station in the downtown 'core', boats w/ cruise ship upgrade, airport
  • spam basic casinos to get the lodging upgrade at the HQ before moving onto the top 3 casino types

The sci-fi casino has much higher running costs so you need the money that is made from mid-wealth tourists, not low-wealth ones.

With the smaller city sizes the game is much more about "leveling" ie: build/max out our city at one income level, making a tweak (HQ upgrade) and then going back and upgrading buildings. Only time you can short circuit this is if someone else in your region already has those buildings.

  • I do have a lot of transportation, I have the Streetcars, Bus terminal, and a Train station. I also have a ferrie, but no one uses it, so I ended up just turning it off. ( I assume ferries require other people in the region to have one as well.) Thanks. Mar 12, 2013 at 17:51
  • Well then the next question is... are you actually getting tourists to your city? This mechanic isn't very clear to me but let me guess. Casinos can attract some tourists with their add-ons but that seems minor.. whereas I don't think culture plopables do. After putting one of these down you see a wave of happiness across the city (that combined with the region selection advisor that tells you high land value = good casino city) seems to imply that you need to move your city from $ to $$ before you get the med wealth tourists in sufficient numbers to make the sci-fi casino work profitability.
    – user43524
    Mar 14, 2013 at 15:10
  • read reddit.com/r/SimCityStrategy/comments/1aa66p/… It's a gold mine on tourism/gambling. But unfortunately the tl;dr is "Keep in mind all this is blown out of the water by electronics. Or mining. Or education. Or just building a city normally."
    – user43524
    Mar 14, 2013 at 18:25

Casinos are a tricky business to try and handle. So here is a list of things to consider if you want to build something of a casino strip.

  • Sims are a first come first spent mentality. When they come to your town for tourism they will spend their money on the first touristy thing they can get their hands on. If they pass a commercial building on the way to your casino then they just dropped some of their cash on souvenirs.
  • Sims are not an endless resource. They have a set amount of money and will come to your city to spend it. If you do not have enough tourists to fill your casinos then a new one will never make money.
  • Casinos need to be turned into hotels if you want to get all of the money out of the Sims in question. You seem to have this part down however but its here for completeness.

So what you are seeing is the first and second notes really hitting home. Your first casino is getting most of the Sims and their cash. It seems to be placed pretty well for this to happen. Your second casino is taking the overflow (it is generating just a fraction of the income the first casino is doing). I would have to say your city simply does not attract enough tourists to support all three casinos.

You can try and put down some Expo buildings and the like to get this moving forward and gain a bigger draw. Increase the manner in which you can import Sims (make sure you provide ways into your city that match the wealth level of the Sims your casino wants. Trains and Ferries are good for low-med but you will need an air port for wealthy Sims! As noted by Paralytic, if you build the addons for the ferry you can get wealthy Sims as well!)

And that is pretty much all the knowledge I have in the way of casinos and such.

Hope this helps.

  • Thanks, makes sense now, Would you suggest that I demolish the scifi casino now? or perhaps rezoning the area and demolishing one of the smaller ones? Mar 12, 2013 at 16:35
  • 1
    ferries can bring in the wealthy, with an upgrade.
    – Paralytic
    Mar 12, 2013 at 17:02
  • To save money you could also just power it off.
    – user43524
    Mar 12, 2013 at 17:17
  • @Darkstorm51 At least do what user43524 suggests and turn it off. But I would say step on up and remove the 14k one (turn it off for testing) and see if the scifi can get into the black again. You will want to start focusing on drawing tourists to your town to really get a good strip going but be careful of crime. Casinos bring in crime suddenly and fast. Also thanks for that added info Paralytic, added to the answer (Forgot about cruise ships :))
    – James
    Mar 12, 2013 at 17:20
  • I have turned off the casino, thanks for the help. Mar 12, 2013 at 17:50

To my understanding the glass-box engine equips every tourist with a pre-defined sum of money to spend. These tourists then walk across the city until they leave or all their money is spent.

Hence the different amounts of profits you make can either be attributed to the tourists not having any money left by the time they reach the less-profitable casino, or they do not even get there. If they arrive in one corner of the city and all casinos are on the other side, they might forever be in the reds. So build a regional bus station, a train station, a tourist attraction or so near the casinos to get the tourists there... It worked for me.

  • If those tourists do not have a place to stay they will leave with out having spent all of their cash.
    – James
    Mar 13, 2013 at 19:22

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