Casinos – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly


A casino is a gambling establishment. While lighted fountains, musical shows and lavish hotels may draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat that provide the billions in profits raked in by the industry each year. This article takes a look at how casinos make their money, how they stay safe and the dark side of the business.

While gambling probably predates written history, it didn’t become the major entertainment industry that it is today until the 16th century when a fad for dice games spread throughout Europe. At that time, primitive protodice and carved six-sided die were used for gambling. The modern casino began to develop in the United States with the legalization of gambling in Nevada and Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Today, a casino is a huge enterprise that may include a hotel, restaurant, retail shops and even an amusement park. Many also offer convention facilities and live entertainment from musicians and acts like Cirque du Soleil. A casino is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Modern casinos are usually heavily guarded, and most have a separate department of security that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system (cables in the ceiling called the “eye-in-the-sky”) that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious or definite criminal activity. In addition, most casinos have a physical security force that patrols the floor and responds to calls for help and reported crime, as well as a specialized surveillance department that watches the video feeds from every angle.