The Dark Side of Casinos

A casino is a place where games of chance are played, the primary attraction being gambling. Although a variety of other luxuries like restaurants, theaters, shops and theme parks are added, casinos would not exist without gambling games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and slots providing the billions in profits they generate.

Gambling in its various forms has been a popular entertainment for millennia. It has been present in every society, from the ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to Roman and Elizabethan England. In America, it began to grow in popularity as more states legalized gaming. By the 1980s, Atlantic City and several American Indian reservations were offering casino-style gambling.

There is a dark side to the business of casinos. Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal or scam their way into a jackpot. This is why casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security.

Besides employing physical security guards, many casinos have elaborate systems of surveillance. Depending on the size of the establishment, these might include catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor, allowing security personnel to look down directly on the tables and slot machines through one-way glass; cameras placed at the tables and other betting stations; and a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” system that allows security workers to watch every table and window from a separate room filled with banks of monitors.

Casinos are big businesses, and they have a lot of money to spend on security. They also offer generous comps to their big bettors – free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and even free limo service and airline tickets.