A casino is a place where various games of chance are played. Modern casinos often add a host of amenities to help draw in players, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery. However, the fundamental element of casino gambling is the same as it has always been. The house always wins.
Despite this, many people continue to gamble, and gamble heavily. Casinos earn billions in profits each year. From the glitzy Las Vegas Strip to the illegal pai gow parlors of New York City, there are many casinos. Some are world famous, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas. Others are lesser known, such as the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco.
There is a dark side to casinos, however. Some patrons become so addicted to gambling that they ruin their own lives and those of their family members. Compulsive gambling causes economic harm to a community in the form of lost productivity and social costs for treating problem gamblers.
As a result, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Security starts on the floor, where dealers are heavily focused on their game and can quickly spot blatant cheating (such as palming cards or marking dice). Then there are the high-tech surveillance systems. These give a “eye in the sky” that allows surveillance personnel to watch every table, window and doorway at any given moment. They can even adjust the cameras to focus on suspicious patrons.