A casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money or other rewards. There have been a lot of different types of places that house gambling activities over the years, from humble saloons in Arizona to the huge, glitzy casinos in Las Vegas. Modern casinos often combine a wide variety of gambling activities with top-notch hotels, spas and restaurants.
Gambling at a casino starts with a staff that watches the patrons carefully for anything suspicious. Dealers are trained to spot blatant cheating, such as palming, marking and switching cards or dice. Table managers and pit bosses have a broader view of the game and can watch for betting patterns that might indicate cheating. Casinos also use elaborate surveillance systems, from the basic “eye-in-the-sky” cameras to closed circuit television (CCTV) that can focus on individual patrons or groups of patrons.
Casinos are usually staffed with a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. These departments work closely with each other and have proven very effective in deterring criminal activity. Cameras can monitor all areas of a casino and can be directed to focus on specific tables or patrons, especially during high-stakes games.
In addition to security, casino managers have a strong interest in customer service. They want gamblers to come back, so they offer perks known as comps for big spenders. These can include free shows, hotel rooms and reduced-fare transportation. Some casinos even give free meals and limo service to gamblers who are spending a lot of time playing.