The Darker Side of Casinos


A casino is a gambling establishment, where people can gamble by playing games of chance or with skill. Usually, casinos offer table games (such as blackjack and roulette), slot machines, poker tables, and other gaming equipment. In addition, most casinos also have restaurants and bars. Some even have theaters for live entertainment.

Casinos make their money by charging players a small percentage of every bet placed on the games. This is called the house edge, and it is what gives casinos the billions of dollars in profits they rake in each year.

Many people associate casinos with glitzy shows, expensive hotel rooms and a wide variety of games to choose from. However, most casinos have a much darker side. Despite their flashy exteriors, casinos have been known to harbor criminals and shady characters.

A casino’s security system is usually divided into two departments. The physical security force patrols the casino floor and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite crime. The specialized surveillance department monitors the casino’s closed circuit television system. Security personnel are trained to recognize patterns of behavior, such as a player’s tendency to palm cards or mark dice.

In addition to physical and specialized surveillance, modern casinos employ technological systems that allow them to closely monitor the activities of casino patrons and their bets. For example, some betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that enables the casino to oversee the amount wagered minute by minute and warn the dealer instantly of any statistical anomalies.