A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. In addition to a variety of gambling activities, many casinos feature high-end restaurants, hotels and other amenities. While the glamorous stage shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers may draw in customers, casinos would not exist without the games that generate billions of dollars in profits each year. Games like slots, poker, blackjack and roulette are among the most popular at modern casinos.
With large sums of cash handled in a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. This is why casinos devote a great deal of time and money to security. Cameras that constantly scan the casino floor provide a kind of eye-in-the-sky view of every table, window and doorway. More sophisticated systems can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons, and a room filled with banks of security monitors provides an overall picture of activity on the casino floor. In addition, the patterns of game play (the way dealers shuffle and deal cards, for instance) and expected reactions to wins and losses follow set routines that can be spotted by experienced security personnel.
In the past, organized crime figures controlled a significant portion of the casino business in Las Vegas and Reno. The mob provided the bankroll and, in some cases, took sole or partial ownership of casino properties, and used the facilities to carry on their drug trafficking, extortion and illegal rackets.