A casino is a special establishment where patrons can gamble and play games of chance for money or other items. Modern casinos are often much more than that, however, with many of them offering restaurants, hotels, non-gambling entertainment and other facilities to make them attractive to entire families.
A modern casino can be a massive structure housing hundreds of gambling tables, thousands of slot machines and even more non-gambling table games. These games are played for a variety of reasons, but mostly the patrons hope to win money. Casinos make billions of dollars each year from these wagers. Some of this money goes to the owners of the casino, while most is passed on to employees and other businesses related to the casino.
Casinos are regulated and licensed by government agencies in most jurisdictions. They also employ a large number of people to supervise the games and maintain order. The vast majority of casino employees are not gamblers themselves, but rather workers hired to keep the place running smoothly and safely. This includes security, floor managers, dealers and other staff members.
Besides these people, casinos hire technicians to run the games and keep them safe. These technicians will regularly audit the game results and the equipment to ensure that the casino is not losing money or rigging the games in any way. Moreover, the games themselves are routinely monitored electronically to discover any statistical deviation from expected value.
In addition to electronic supervision, casinos use cameras and other technological devices to help ensure security. For example, many casinos have small black domes on the ceiling that hide cameras. These cameras monitor the players and can detect any suspicious behavior. In addition, most casinos have count rooms where they bundle and prepare the cash that is brought in for deposit. This process is done in a secure environment and the money is then transported by armored car to the casino’s bank account.
Another important tool in casino security is comping. A comp is a free good or service that is given to “good” players. These comps can include hotel rooms, restaurant food, tickets to shows and limo or airline service. The casino gives these out to attract big bettors and reward them for their loyalty. Some people even build careers out of getting comps from casinos!
Despite their seamy image, casinos are a very profitable business. During the mob’s reign of power in Reno and Las Vegas, they were an excellent source of cash for organized crime gangsters, who supplied the funds to expand and operate the new casinos. As mob influence faded, legitimate businessmen and real estate investors saw the potential profits from gambling, and bought out the mobsters. Casinos are now owned by companies such as Donald Trump, the Hilton hotel chain and others. These companies have deep pockets and can afford to keep out the mob and its tainted reputation.