The Good and Bad Side of Casinos

Gambling is a favorite pastime for millions of people. It provides entertainment and a rush of winning that is hard to match. It also generates billions of dollars in profits for the owners of casinos. Many of the richest people in the world have made their fortunes by betting on games of chance and it is this money that has fueled the growth and expansion of casino gaming worldwide. Casinos are often described as being like an indoor amusement park for adults and while musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help draw in the crowds gambling is what keeps them coming back. Casinos would not exist without games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat.

Casinos have long been a source of fascination even for those who do not gamble and movies such as the Rat Pack’s Ocean’s 11 and its sequels only serve to fuel this fascination. There is something about the twinkly lights and the sounds of thousands of slots and tables that just draws people in and keeps them there. This is the reason why a lot of attention is put into making sure that casinos are safe and secure.

While security starts on the casino floor and includes well trained armed guards, casinos rely on technology and mathematics to keep patrons safe. Every machine in a casino is wired to a central computer that tracks its activity. There are also cameras in almost all areas of a casino and microphones to record any conversations that might take place. In addition to this casinos employ mathematicians who specialize in the field of gambling called gaming mathematicians. They are tasked with determining the house edge for each game and estimating its variance. The information that these mathematicians provide helps a casino to maximize its gross profits.

In order to increase profits even further casinos are known to offer a wide variety of incentives for big bettors. These may include free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation and luxury living quarters. They will even offer complimentary food and drinks in some instances to encourage players to spend more money than they might otherwise. The goal is to turn a casino into an attraction for as many people as possible.

There is a dark side to the business of casinos though. Besides the usual perks offered to large bettors there is a growing number of people who are addicted to gambling and are seeking ways to get the “fix” that they need. There are some that have been known to steal money from their own casino and in some cases the casinos have even gone bankrupt because of these individuals. Something about the atmosphere in a casino seems to encourage these types of actions and it is for this reason that casinos must pay so much attention to security. It is a constant struggle to balance security and the desire to attract as many people as possible to the games on their floors.