Security at a Casino
A casino is a place where a variety of gambling activities take place. It may also include restaurants, bars, shops and even a museum or theater. It is a popular tourist destination, and some casinos have become opulent entertainment complexes rivaling Las Vegas in size and extravagance.
Something about the gambling atmosphere of a casino encourages cheating and stealing by patrons and employees, either in collusion or outright. For this reason, casinos devote a lot of effort and money to security. Cameras throughout the facility monitor tables, doorways and windows. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” that can be directed to specific suspicious patrons by casino staff gathered in a room filled with banks of security monitors. Some casinos also have catwalks in the ceiling above the slot machines and table games that allow security personnel to watch, through one way glass, what goes on inside those areas.
Mafia-controlled casinos dominated the casino business in Reno and Las Vegas, until federal crackdowns and the fear of losing gaming licenses for even the slightest hint of mob involvement forced the mobsters to divest their interest in these cash cows. Now the mob is replaced by investors and hotel chains with deep pockets, including Donald Trump and the Hilton hotel chain. Casinos are a popular destination for tourists, but they also attract locals and exacerbate the problem of compulsive gambling. Studies suggest that local expenditures on treatment of addicted gamblers outweigh any economic benefits a casino might generate.