The Casino Culture
Most casinos are geared towards high rollers, or people who spend a lot of money gambling at their establishments. These people gamble in special rooms off the casino floor where they receive extravagant personal attention and free amenities. These high rollers are an integral part of the casinos’ overall strategy and generate a large percentage of their profits. Often, high rollers are rewarded with free buffets and hotel rooms, and even receive travel packages for free.
The word ‘casino’ was first used in Italy, where it originally referred to a country house. Adding ‘ino’ to the word indicates a smaller structure. So in the 17th century, when ‘casino’ first became popular, gambling would probably take place in an Italian country house. In modern times, casinos are attached to hotels, and the word has become synonymous with gambling. But it’s not just gambling that spawns casino culture!
Games of chance and skill are common at casinos. Casinos typically have elaborate theme rooms and offer games that involve strategy and luck. These games are the basis for the entertainment offered by the casino, as they generate billions of dollars for the casino each year. Games such as blackjack, roulette, and slot machines are the most popular, with the dark side of the casino being baccarat. The casinos’ games may be entertaining, but they’re also a source of bad behavior.
Besides the dealers, casino security is also based on the patterns and routines that occur in the casino. Every table, window, and doorway in a casino is monitored by cameras that can be adjusted to spot suspicious patrons. Video feeds of these activities are recorded and analyzed later for further analysis. Many casinos offer extravagant inducements for big bettors to win. These include reduced-fares, free drinks, and even free cigarettes! But what about the security in a casino?
In the 1990s, casinos increased their use of technology, such as video cameras and computers. Casinos are also using “chip tracking” technology, which involves betting chips with microcircuitry that allows them to monitor wagers minute-by-minute. Some casinos monitor the roulette wheels for statistical deviations. Other casinos have completely enclosed versions of games, which do not have dealers and allow players to place their bets using buttons. If you’re looking for a new casino, you might want to give poker a try.
Casinos also employ a security staff that works to enforce rules of conduct. One way that casinos ensure that their patrons are safe is to have their cards on them at all times. Some casinos even have catwalks suspended from the ceiling above the casino floor, where surveillance personnel can look down at the players playing cards. Another method used by casinos is to place ATM machines at strategic locations. While this might sound like an overkill, it actually works for the casino.
Before the 1950s, gambling was rarely seen as a profitable endeavor for legitimate businessmen. It was illegal in every state except Nevada. However, organized crime figures were quick to jump into the casino industry. They had plenty of money to spend from their illegal activities, and didn’t mind the unsavory reputation of gambling. The mafia poured money into Reno and Las Vegas, eventually taking ownership of some casinos. But the industry didn’t die down and casinos are still there today.