The term casino refers to a place where people play a variety of games of chance. The main attraction is gambling, but casinos also offer other entertainment and amusements such as shopping, dining and stage shows. They are sometimes referred to as casino resorts, and many feature hotels, restaurants, non-gambling game rooms and other amenities.
How do casinos make money?
Gambling provides the bulk of a casino’s revenue. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat all contribute to the billions of dollars that American casino owners earn every year. In fact, the number of casinos in the United States is so large that there is even a federal agency dedicated to tracking their profits.
Popular casino games
Aside from slots, the most popular type of gaming at casinos is card games, especially baccarat and blackjack. These games are played against other patrons, with a casino employee called a ladderman or caller standing in front of the table to oversee the action and keep track of all the cards. The game of baccarat is a favorite in European casinos and has been played around the world since the Middle Ages.
The dark side of the casino industry
The casinos were initially a cash cow for organized crime figures, who had no problem with gambling’s seamy image, and soon became involved in casino business. These mobsters were willing to put up a lot of cash in order to run a profitable operation, and they often influenced the outcomes of certain games to their benefit. In addition, these mobsters made it difficult to get a legitimate gaming license because they would threaten violence against casino personnel.
Luckily, the mob’s influence was weeded out through the efforts of legitimate casino businesses and the federal crackdown on illegal gambling. In many cases, real estate investors and hotel chains had a much larger bankroll than the mobsters, and they were able to buy out their competition.
Surveillance at a casino
A casino’s security is crucial to keeping the establishment safe from fraud, theft and other problems. To this end, they have installed elaborate surveillance systems that allow them to watch the entire casino at once through cameras in the ceiling and windows. The video feeds are then monitored by security workers in a separate room. This is a very effective means of making sure that no one is cheating or stealing.
In addition to preventing these issues, casinos employ highly trained staff, and they have a strict code of conduct for their employees. They also have security officers on staff to assist with any questions or concerns that customers may have.
Besides the basic safety measures, casinos have implemented sophisticated technology to monitor their games. This includes chip-tracking betting chips that interact with the electronic systems in the tables to provide an exact accounting of how much has been wagered. Moreover, roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any deviations from the expected outcome.