A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Many casinos also offer hotel accommodations, retail shopping, restaurants and shows. In the United States, a casino is usually a licensed establishment.
Security is a major issue for casinos. The presence of large amounts of money and the potential for cheating, theft and other problems make it necessary for casinos to spend a great deal of time and money on security.
The basics of casino security start on the gaming floor, where all patrons are screened for suspicious behavior. Several employees have a close eye on each game, watching for blatant cheating like palming and marking cards or dice. Other personnel observe table games with a more broader view, keeping track of betting patterns and other suspicious activities.
Modern casinos are also heavily reliant on technology for security. Video cameras watch every angle of the gaming floor, and electronic monitoring systems keep track of individual machines and their overall performance. Computers are used to control the games themselves, with a system called “chip tracking” that allows casinos to monitor exactly how much each player is wagering minute by minute and warn them quickly of any statistical deviation.
The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, but it wouldn’t exist without the games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and other games provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year. While lighted fountains, spectacular shows and luxurious hotels bring in the crowds, it’s the games of chance that generate the biggest income.