As the name suggests, a casino is an establishment for gambling. While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels help draw in the crowds, casinos make their billions through games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, poker, baccarat, and many more.
In the 21st century, nearly all countries have changed their laws to permit casino gambling. In America, the first casino opened in Atlantic City in 1978 and soon spread throughout the country as state legislatures amended antigambling laws. In the 1980s, several American Indian reservations were allowed to open their own casinos, and in the 1990s many states began opening riverboat casinos, allowing them to operate outside state antigambling laws.
Casinos offer a variety of perks designed to encourage patrons to gamble and reward those who do. They give higher bettors “comps” such as free rooms, meals and shows in exchange for large amounts of money spent at the casino tables or slots. This strategy helps casinos maximize their gambling revenue and also creates a database of patron information which can be used for marketing purposes.
Security is a major consideration at all casinos. Employees on the casino floor have their eyes constantly focused on the games and the patrons to ensure that blatant cheating is not taking place, and they are trained to recognize patterns of behavior that may indicate the use of drugs or alcohol. Casinos also employ a number of people who specialize in monitoring table games, watching for things such as card marking, dice shaking, and the switching of cards or chips.