The Casino Business – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

A casino may seem like an adult amusement park with its musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels, but the vast majority of the money is made by gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and keno are just some of the games that attract billions of dollars in profits for casinos each year. This article takes a look at how casinos make their money, the history behind them and the dark side of the business.

The exact origin of gambling is unknown, but it seems to have been around for as long as humans have had a need for entertainment and excitement. Prehistoric protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice have been found at archaeological sites, but the first modern casinos developed in the 16th century as part of a gambling craze that swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would gather in private clubs called ridotti to gamble and socialize, even though the practice was technically illegal.

Today, casino gambling is found throughout the world in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. The largest casinos are in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, although new ones are opening all the time. In the United States, a growing number of Native American casinos have opened on reservations and many American cities now have small gaming establishments.

Because large sums of money are handled within a casino, there is always the potential for cheating and theft by patrons and staff. To combat these problems, most casinos have a high level of security measures in place. These include cameras located throughout the casino, which are monitored by surveillance personnel in a room filled with banks of security monitors.