The Casino – The Allure and the Dark Side

A casino is a gambling establishment where games of chance are played for money or other rewards. Modern casinos offer many amenities beyond gambling, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, but their primary appeal remains gaming. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for owners, investors and Native American tribes. Some casinos are huge resorts like Las Vegas, while others are smaller places such as card rooms, riverboats or cruise ships. Casinos may also be found in racetracks, truck stops and bars.

Gambling is a vice that tempts people to cheat and steal, whether in collusion with fellow patrons or on their own. Something about the atmosphere of a casino seems to encourage these attempts; that’s why casinos devote a lot of time, effort and money to security. Modern casinos also use a variety of electronic monitoring technologies to make sure that the games are being played as they should be. For example, in a system called “chip tracking,” betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems in the table and alerts casino managers to any anomaly. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviations from expected results, and video cameras watch over every inch of the casino floor.

While glitzy features like musical shows and lighted fountains help draw people in, the vast majority of casino profits come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, craps and baccarat generate the billions that make casinos profitable. The article explores the allure of these institutions, how they operate, the history behind them and their dark side.