How Casinos Keep Their Edge

The modern casino is a glamorous, high-tech entertainment center where people pay to play games of chance and win cash. Slot machines, table games like blackjack, roulette and craps, and card games such as poker and baccarat bring in billions of dollars in annual profit for casinos. Casinos also offer a variety of other entertainment, including restaurants and stage shows.

Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat or steal, which is why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Many casinos have cameras trained on every table, window and doorway, and elaborate surveillance systems that allow security workers to watch patrons from a room filled with banks of monitors.

Another way casinos keep their edge is by focusing on the types of gamblers who come to them. Some casinos cater to big bettors who can afford to lose a great deal of money, and offer them luxuries such as free spectacular entertainment, elegant living quarters and reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms.

Other casinos, especially those in Las Vegas, focus on attracting tourists, and rely on cheap buffets, free drinks and discounted show tickets to draw customers. The typical casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. The majority of casino gambling is done by people who are not in the habit of gambling elsewhere, and they tend to gamble more often as their wealth increases. They also are more likely to take weekend bus trips to the nearest casino with friends.