The casino industry brings in billions of dollars each year for corporations, investors and Native American tribes that own and operate them. Those that succeed attract millions of gamblers who spend billions more. Something about gambling seems to encourage people to try to cheat or steal their way into a jackpot, which is why casinos spend so much time, effort and money on security.
There are more than 3,000 casino hotels around the world. Most are large, luxurious resorts that feature restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery. But there are also less lavish places that house gambling activities, such as truck stops, bars and racetracks that have introduced casino-type game machines called racinos.
Casinos earn billions each year by offering their customers games of chance and in some cases skill. Most of these games have a built in statistical advantage for the casino, and it is very rare that any one patron will win more than they lose on any given day. This edge, known as the house edge, or expected value, is the casino’s profit margin. It is calculated by subtracting the average winning bet from the average losing bet.
Many of today’s casinos use advanced technology to supervise the games themselves. For example, casino chips have a microcircuit that interacts with electronic systems that monitor the exact amount of money wagered minute by minute. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviation from their expected statistical patterns. And, of course, cameras constantly monitor the action on the gaming floor.