In Casino, you can try your hand at roulette, blackjack and a host of other gambling games. Musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers may help draw visitors, but casinos would not survive without the billions of dollars that come from gambling on games of chance. Learn how casino games work, the history of the industry, and what you can expect if you ever gamble at one.
Because so much money passes through a casino’s doors, both patrons and staff can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or on their own. That’s why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. They also encourage patrons to play by offering perks like free food, drinks and show tickets. These offers are known as comps and are based on the theory that people who have more to spend will gamble more and generate more revenue for the establishment.
In general, the casino industry aims to appeal to people with above-average incomes. A 2005 study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel found that 23% of casino gamblers are age forty-six or older, with more discretionary spending power than younger adults. And because most casino gambling is done locally, the revenues generated by local patrons exceed those from out-of-towners. Critics, however, argue that the social costs of treating problem gamblers and the loss in productivity due to gambling addiction more than offset any economic benefits that a casino might bring.