For most of our nation’s history, gambling was illegal. Even though some gamblers played openly with local law enforcement, casinos weren’t allowed to grow into an industry. The first legalized casino opened in Nevada in 1931. However, the growth of casino gambling was stunted for decades, and it took another 37 years for New Jersey to legalize casino gambling. But these laws are slowly changing. Today, casino gaming is legal everywhere, including Atlantic City.
In the twenty-first century, casinos have become more choosy and savvy, focusing on high-stakes gamblers. These high-stakes gamblers spend far more money than the average casino patron. They are usually seated in a separate room, where the tables and chips are separated. This gives the casino a mathematical expectation of winning. In addition, high-roller gamblers receive lavish personal attention and perks, such as free drinks and cigarettes.
In the 1990s, casinos became more sophisticated, incorporating computer and video cameras to oversee games. Many have started using “chip tracking,” which involves betting chips with built-in microcircuitry. This allows casinos to track each patron’s wagers minute by minute. Additionally, roulette wheels are regularly monitored for statistical deviations, allowing them to adjust the odds of winning. Some casinos have even created enclosed versions of their games, so players don’t need a dealer. These games are more fun than ever to play and are increasingly favored by many gamblers.