Security Measures at a Casino


A casino is a large building where people can gamble and play games of chance. In addition to tables, slot machines and card games, casinos usually have restaurants, hotels, shopping areas and entertainment venues. The largest casinos in the world are located in cities such as Macau and Las Vegas, and they typically feature tens of thousands of slots and tables. While musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotel themes attract visitors to a casino, the vast majority of its profits come from gambling. Slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat are all part of the casino’s revenue stream, and they help to make up the billions of dollars in annual profits that casinos are known for.

Although something about gambling encourages cheating, stealing and other forms of deception, most casino patrons are honest and the games are played fairly. As a result, casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security measures to prevent cheating. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” that can watch every table, window and doorway, and cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results, and the payouts of slot machines are determined by computer chips.

In addition to the technology, a casino’s security depends on its employees and their familiarity with gaming rules and patterns. Dealers are trained to spot blatant cheating techniques like palming and marking cards, and they are aware of betting patterns that could indicate fraud. They also know how to spot a fake hand of cards or dice. Security personnel monitor the activity of players at table games, and pit bosses keep an eye on the entire floor to catch any suspicious behavior.

Many casino patrons are loyal to their favorite games and often visit the same casino regularly. The casino rewards these players with comps, which are free goods and services. These can include meals, rooms, show tickets and even limo service and airline tickets. A person can find out how to get a comp by asking a casino employee or the information desk.

In 2005, the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with an above-average income. Casinos are a popular destination for families and older adults, who may take weekend bus trips to their local casinos. In contrast, younger adults are less likely to gamble or have a gambling problem.