A casino is a gambling establishment where people can play a variety of games of chance. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw in patrons, casinos wouldn’t exist without the billions of dollars in profit that come from gambling games like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, keno and poker.
Gambling may date back thousands of years to primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at ancient archaeological sites, but the modern casino didn’t emerge until the 16th century when a gambling craze swept Europe and wealthy Italian nobles built private parties called ridotti where they could gamble in comfort with servants to attend to their needs.
Today, casino are massive complexes with multiple gaming floors offering thousands of machines and a mind-boggling variety of non-machine games. Many are combined with hotels, restaurants, bars, non-gambling entertainment and even water parks and ski resorts.
There’s also something about the glitz and glamour of casinos that attracts people who might try to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or on their own. This is why casinos spend a lot of time, money and energy on security. Casinos employ a variety of methods to detect these activities, from surveillance cameras in every corner of the casino to a high-tech eye-in-the-sky system that monitors all table changes, window movement and doorway openings with precision.
There’s also a more subtle approach to casino security: the way dealers shuffle and deal cards, how players react to certain events and motions at tables, and other patterns that are easily detected by attentive casino employees.