A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, with the majority of entertainment coming from gambling on slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno. The casino industry is a significant source of income for many governments, and it is growing in popularity in the United States due to legalized sports wagering and television shows such as “Casino”.
Security is a major concern of casino owners. In addition to a physical security force, most casinos have a dedicated surveillance department to monitor patrons and games. These departments use sophisticated technology, including catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down through one-way glass at tables and slot machines. They also use “chip tracking” to monitor betting patterns and to alert security to any anomalies; electronic roulette wheels are monitored regularly to discover any deviations from expected results.
Casinos make money because each game has a built in statistical advantage for the casino, which can be as small as two percent. This advantage, combined with millions of bets from patrons, gives the casino a net profit. This profit is used to pay for the expensive hotels, fountains, pyramids and towers that are the signature of casino architecture.
Gambling is a risky business, and some people will try to cheat or steal in order to gain an unfair advantage. For this reason, most casinos spend a large amount of money on security. Compulsive gamblers, in particular, generate a large percentage of casino profits, and studies have shown that their addiction takes away from other forms of recreation and decreases the local economy.