A casino is a gambling establishment that offers gamblers the chance to win money by using dice, cards, horses, roulette wheels and more. While casinos are often associated with glitz and glamour, and have become popular tourist attractions, they are also one of the most competitive businesses around. Many casinos lose money and go bankrupt, but those that are successful must keep their edge by constantly upgrading, improving and expanding. In addition, they must compete not only with other casino-based entertainment but non-gambling resorts, on-line gambling and an illegal gambling business that is far larger than the legal one.
A major part of the success of a casino lies in its security systems. Casinos have elaborate surveillance systems, with cameras positioned to watch every table, slot machine, window and doorway. Security personnel monitor the systems continuously, and the camera banks can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Table managers and pit bosses also watch the patrons closely, observing betting patterns that may indicate cheating.
While lighted fountains, musical shows and luxurious hotels help attract gamblers, the billions of dollars in profits are generated by casino games like blackjack, roulette, slots, baccarat and craps. Even the glamorous Bellagio in Las Vegas, whose dancing fountains were made famous by the movie Ocean’s 11, would not exist without the popularity of its tables and poker rooms. Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and scam their way to a jackpot. Casinos must therefore devote a great deal of time and effort to security.