Sun. May 19th, 2024


When most people think of a casino, they imagine one of the megaresorts in Las Vegas—a massive hotel and entertainment complex blazing with neon lights and games. But casinos come in all shapes and sizes. Some are small businesses defined more by the types of gambling they offer than by glitz and glamour. Others are huge entertainment complexes with hotels, restaurants and many different gambling games.

Casinos make money by putting up odds for each game that give the house a mathematical advantage. This edge is usually less than two percent, but it can accumulate over millions of bets. To offset the house advantage, casinos charge a commission to players on some of their bets, called the vigorish or rake. This is a significant portion of the profit from some table games, such as roulette, craps and baccarat, and some video poker machines.

Security begins on the floor of a casino, where employees keep their eyes on the patrons and their behavior. Dealers at table games can easily spot blatant cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards or dice. Casino security personnel also watch the betting patterns of slot machine players to detect patterns that might indicate cheating.

In addition, casinos are wired to a network of surveillance cameras that can be adjusted from a control room filled with banks of security monitors. Casinos also invest in “high rollers,” a special group of gamblers who spend tens of thousands of dollars at a time. These people are often given private rooms, separate from the main casino floor, where they can place high-stakes bets.