The Dark Side of Casinos

Casinos make money by offering games of chance. These include slot machines, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and poker. Each of these games has a mathematically determined advantage for the casino, known as a house edge.

This advantage pays off with millions of bets placed by casino patrons, allowing the casinos to build extravagant hotels, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks. But this edge also means that casinos have a dark side.

The mobsters didn’t hesitate to use their cash to buy and control casinos, threatening casino staff with violence if they didn’t play by their rules. Real estate investors and hotel chains, however, had money and the legal means to stop the mobsters’ influence.

Today, most casinos have extensive security measures. They employ physical security forces and specialized surveillance teams, often referred to as the “eye in the sky.”

Security starts at the floor of a casino. Dealers and pit bosses keep an eye on their own tables, spotting cheating behaviors like palming cards or switching dice.

Other security measures involve specialized surveillance cameras throughout the casino. These cameras watch all the tables, change windows and doorways and are recorded so that if a crime or a cheat is detected, the casino can review the footage and track down the perpetrator.

The best casinos offer a variety of options for players to choose from, and many also provide live entertainment, luxury accommodations and top-quality dining experiences. You can find these in many of the world’s leading destinations, including Las Vegas and Atlantic City.