Casinos make billions of dollars in profits every year by providing the entertainment and gambling that keep their guests coming back. Music shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help draw in gamblers. But it’s the games of chance that keep casinos afloat.
Historically, the word “casino” came from the Italian words for “house” and “club.” A casino was a social club or villa where people went to gamble. In the 16th century, a gambling craze began to sweep Europe, and aristocrats often held private parties in what were called ridotti [Source: Schwartz].
Today’s modern casino combines gaming rooms with prime dining, drinking and entertainment facilities to form an indoor amusement park. But the real entertainment is in the games of chance, like slots, roulette, blackjack, craps and baccarat.
A casino’s success is also dependent on its reputation. Generally, a legal and upright casino will not rig the outcome of its games.
Casinos also spend a lot of money on security. They employ elaborate surveillance systems that watch all tables at once and change windows and doorways to spot suspicious patrons.
They have a staff of hundreds of trained security guards and even use video cameras to track patrons as they walk by. This is all to prevent cheating, fraud and other crimes that could end up costing the casino money.
But casinos can’t hide the fact that they have a dark side as well. Problem gamblers are an insidious drain on the economy, and they also cause a significant amount of stress on casino employees.