A casino is an establishment that allows people to play a variety of games of chance for money. It may offer additional luxuries to attract people, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery, but it is primarily a place where people can gamble. It is sometimes called a gaming house or a gambling house, and it has become one of the most popular forms of entertainment worldwide.
In the early days of the Las Vegas strip, casino owners sought a way to finance expansion and renovation in order to draw more customers. The owners knew that they needed a steady flow of income from a legitimate source, but they didn’t want to get involved in illegal rackets such as drugs or extortion. As a solution, they looked to organized crime figures. Mafia members were interested in the money that could be made through casino gambling, and they were willing to invest their own funds in exchange for a share of the profits. The mob money helped make the casinos in Las Vegas and Reno some of the biggest and best in the world.
Casinos have many rules, regulations and security measures in place to protect their patrons and prevent crime. Most casinos have a security force that patrols the floor and responds to calls for assistance or reports of definite criminal activity. Most casinos also have a specialized surveillance department that operates cameras throughout the facility. This high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” can watch every table, window and doorway at once, and can be directed to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors.
Something about the nature of casino gambling seems to encourage people to cheat or steal in order to win. Fortunately, most casino theft is easily spotted by trained casino security personnel, but there are still occasional incidents. For instance, my childhood friend got a job as a security guard at a casino in Atlantic City and had to quit after 3 months because he was so sick of the number of people who stood at slot machines soiling themselves, believing that they were on a winning streak.
A large part of a casino’s success is dependent on the number and quality of its employees. The most successful casinos have staff that are highly skilled in the games they offer and who understand how to interact with patrons in a friendly but professional manner. In addition, good casino employees know how to give out comps, or complimentary items, to frequent gamblers. These freebies can range from food and drink to hotel rooms and even airline tickets. Ask a casino employee or the information desk about how to qualify for a comp. Most casinos rate players based on their total spending and the type of game they play. The higher the player’s rating, the more valuable he or she is to the casino. As such, good players can often receive free meals and hotel rooms, as well as tickets to shows and limo service.