Casinos are popular and profitable attractions that attract gamblers from all over the world. While musical shows, lighted fountains and five-star food entertainment help to draw visitors, the majority of profit comes from gambling.
The games of chance that casinos offer include slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps. Most have mathematically determined odds, which ensure that the house has an edge over the players.
Gaming managers must understand how to use these games to maximize the profits for the casino, while also overcoming the dangers of superstition that can lead to irrational decision making and hurt the casino’s chances of profiting. For example, one owner of a large Las Vegas casino was known to spread salt throughout the casino in hopes of warding off bad luck from a few “high rollers” who were losing money consistently.
Security is an important issue for all casinos. Physical security guards patrol the premises and respond to calls for assistance and reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a “high-tech” “eye in the sky” that allows security personnel to watch every table, window and doorway at once.
The game tables are monitored by dealer and pit bosses who can easily spot blatant cheating, such as palming and marking cards or dice, switching cards and chips or changing bets to affect the outcome of a game. Video cameras, computers and automated systems monitor games minute by minute to prevent cheating and detect any deviations from expected results.