Casinos are entertainment and gambling hotspots where the clinking of slot machines and shuffling of cards takes center stage. While musical shows, lighted fountains and luxury hotels help draw in the crowds, the real money comes from the games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat provide the billions in profit that casinos rake in each year.
Something about the glitz and glamour of casinos seems to encourage cheating and stealing, whether in collusion or independently. To combat this, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security measures. Security cameras are placed throughout the casino, and staff scour the floors for suspicious patrons. There are also special rooms for high-stakes gambling where gamblers can play for tens of thousands of dollars. These gamblers are pampered with comps, which include free hotel rooms, show tickets and limo service.
In the early days of Las Vegas gambling, the mob was king. Mobbers had plenty of cash from drug dealing, extortion and other illegal activities, and they invested it in casinos. When federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at even the faintest hint of Mafia involvement forced the mob to pull back, legitimate businessmen took over. Hotel chains and real estate investors soon realized that casinos were a golden opportunity. Today, most casinos are owned by big corporations with deep pockets. Their owners know that they can get the most out of their investments by focusing on high-stakes players, who are offered comps and other perks worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.