A Closer Look at Casinos

Whether you envision a megaresort in Las Vegas or a pai gow table in New York’s Chinatown, a casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in visitors, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits that come from gambling. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at how casinos make money, the most popular games and how they are played, the dark side of casino gambling and more.

The word “casino” is derived from a Latin word meaning little house. Originally, it was used to describe small social clubs where Italians met for gaming and entertainment. The concept of the modern casino spread rapidly after World War II, with Nevada leading the way. Soon other states legalized gambling, attracting hordes of people who took bus trips to Atlantic City and Las Vegas, or flew on constant jumbo jets to Macao and Hong Kong.

Security is a high priority for casino managers, and it begins with the employees on the floor of the establishment. Dealers keep their eyes peeled for blatant cheating, like palming cards or marking dice, and table managers watch patrons to make sure they’re not stealing chips from one another. Casinos also invest in sophisticated surveillance systems with “eyes in the sky” that can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons.

The large amounts of cash handled in a casino are a tempting target for both patrons and staff, who may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or on their own. Many casinos have security measures in place to deter this, and the most effective measure is the presence of a high level of police patrols.