The Casino Business


There are few things that draw tourists to a city like casinos do. The dazzling lights, musical shows and exotic locations are all attractive, but the billions of dollars that casino owners rake in each year comes from gambling.

Gambling almost certainly predates recorded history, with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. But the modern casino, which combines a variety of gambling games under one roof, is much newer. It arose during the 16th century as a gambling craze swept Europe, with Italian aristocrats often holding private parties in places called ridotti. [Source: Schwartz]

Today, casino games such as roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and slot machines generate the vast majority of the income that keeps the casino industry afloat. These games have built in advantages for the casino, which can be very small — less than two percent — but over time and millions of bets, they add up to a substantial amount of money.

Security is a vital component of any casino. Casino employees constantly watch over the games and patrons to spot any suspicious activities, from blatant cheating to tableside conversations that might lead to collusion or theft. There are also a number of subtler ways that casino staff keep patrons safe. For example, the routines of card dealing and betting patterns at different tables make it easier for security to detect patterns that might indicate foul play. Then, they can quickly take corrective action.