What is a Casino?
The casino is a modern entertainment complex that features games of chance and skill, such as slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and poker. Casinos generate billions of dollars in profits annually. Decorative features such as lighted fountains, shopping centers, musical shows and elaborate hotels help attract tourists and players. A mathematical advantage for the casino, often lower than two percent, is the main source of revenue. This profit is augmented by commissions or “rake” taken from poker and other games where players play against each other.
Casinos use sophisticated technology to monitor patrons and the games themselves. Chip tracking allows casinos to record the amount of money wagered minute by minute, so that they can alert patrons if any bets exceed their expected values; specialized tables for roulette and dice offer built in microcircuitry for automated verification; and video surveillance cameras are routinely monitored to quickly discover any statistical deviations from expectation.
Because of the large amounts of currency handled within casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. In many states gambling is illegal, but some have legalized it and have established casinos. In the United States Las Vegas is the largest casino center, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. Native American casinos have also become increasingly prevalent. Security at casino establishments includes guards and video surveillance, but some of the most important work is done by casino staff, who observe patterns and habits.