A casino is a place where people can gamble, and it’s one of the most popular forms of gambling in the world. While many casinos feature stage shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels, they would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and more provide the billions in profits that casino owners rake in each year. We’ll take a look at how casinos make their money, how the games are played, what you should know before visiting a casino, and much more.
Gambling is social, and the noise and lights of a casino encourage players to interact. The lights are especially important: 15,000 miles (24,100 km) of neon tubing adorns the casinos along the Las Vegas Strip. And there is plenty of noise, with bells, clangs and the whir of slot machines all working to entice patrons.
Something about gambling (maybe the large sums of money) encourages some to cheat and steal, so casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a “eye-in-the-sky” that can watch every table, window and doorway at once; betting chips have microcircuitry that allows them to be monitored minute by minute; and even roulette wheels are electronically monitored so that statistical deviations stick out like a sore thumb.
In addition to security, casinos also devote a significant amount of time and money on customer service, with perks designed to keep people spending money. These include free drinks and food, comped rooms and shows.