The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, offering a variety of games of chance along with drinks, food and entertainment. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are just a few of the many games that bring in billions in profit each year.
Because casino patrons can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or on their own, casinos are designed with security in mind. Elaborate surveillance systems give managers an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire facility. Cameras can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors. Security personnel also keep a close watch on players, looking for patterns in their behavior that might signal attempts at cheating or collusion.
Casinos make money by charging a “vig” or “rake” on bets placed on their games. This percentage can be very low, less than two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed each year. The vig, combined with winnings from game play, provides enough income to build hotels, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks.
Traditionally, casinos have sought to maximize profits by filling their hotel rooms and gaming floors with as many people as possible. This strategy often creates negative economic impacts, such as a shift in local spending away from other types of entertainment and the cost of treating gambling addiction. In addition, casino revenues can lead to lower property values in nearby neighborhoods.