A casino is a gambling establishment that accepts wagers on games of chance (and sometimes skill). Slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker, keno and craps bring in the billions of dollars in profits to casinos. Musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate themes help draw the crowds, but the casinos would not exist without those games of chance.
The casinos’ built-in advantages ensure that they will, on average, win. These advantages are known as the house edge. Casino designers know that they cannot change this advantage, but they can try to make the atmosphere as inviting and attractive as possible. Luxury suites, free drinks while gambling, clubs, concerts and restaurants are all intended to keep people betting and coming back for more.
Security is another major concern of casino owners. Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, in collusion or independently. To combat this, many casinos have extensive security measures. Typical security systems include cameras in every room that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by personnel in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors.
In addition to these visible security measures, casinos rely on subtle clues to detect cheating and theft. For example, the way in which dealers shuffle cards and deal chips follows certain patterns, making it easier for security to spot when something goes wrong. Statistical deviations from expected results, whether on a blackjack table or a roulette wheel, can be quickly discovered by electronic monitoring.