Behind the glitz and flash, casinos are fundamentally gambling operations engineered to slowly bleed their patrons of cash. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers, lavish hotels and elaborate themes help draw in the crowds, a casino’s bottom line comes from games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno, baccarat and other table games. These games provide the billions of dollars raked in by the largest casino operators each year.
Because of the large amounts of currency handled, casinos must employ many security measures. The most obvious is a series of cameras throughout the premises. Another is the observation of all actions by casino employees and patrons. Observation of patterns helps the security personnel spot when something is off or out of place. In addition, most casinos do not display clocks on the walls as they want their patrons to lose track of time and stay playing longer.
The modern casino is not just a gambling establishment, but also offers entertainment and dining options. It is a multifaceted business that has become a major source of revenue for governments around the world. Some of the largest casinos are US-based and two in China (Venetian Macao & City of Dreams).
While casino gambling has a seamy reputation, legitimate businessmen have found that they can make big money from them. Real estate investors and hotel chains have enough money to out-bid the mob and buy their way into casinos. This has kept the mob away from their most profitable rackets, as federal crackdowns on gangster involvement in casinos and the fear of losing their gaming licenses have forced them to find other ways to make money.