In its most basic form, a casino is an establishment for gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotels help draw people in, but slots, blackjack, roulette, craps and other games of chance provide the billions of dollars in profits casinos rake in every year.
While some players try to beat the house edge, the vast majority of the people who walk through the doors of a casino are there to have fun. Casinos are entertainment businesses that rely on random luck to turn a profit, and they spend enormous amounts of money on security to make sure things go as smoothly as possible for their patrons.
Casino security starts with dealers and other employees who keep an eye on the floor and casino patrons to make sure everything is going as expected. They look for blatant cheating techniques like palming, marking and switching cards or dice. They also note betting patterns that might indicate a patron is trying to rig the game. Computers and video cameras offer a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky,” and even the individual chips used in slot machines have built-in microcircuitry that allows casinos to monitor the exact amount being wagered minute by minute.
Some casinos focus their attention on high rollers, who gamble in rooms away from the main casino floor and often bet tens of thousands of dollars at a time. These high-stakes gamblers can expect to receive comps worth a lot of money, including free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows.