A casino is a place where people can play various games of chance for money or other rewards. Modern casinos add other luxuries to attract customers, such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery. Historically, these places have been called a variety of names such as “Public Houses” and “Gambling houses.”
In modern times, a casino’s security is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The latter monitors the casino’s closed circuit television system. The security forces respond to customer requests for help or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The casinos also rely on sophisticated computer systems to monitor the games themselves. In baccarat, for instance, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with electronic systems that let the casino oversee exactly what is being wagered minute by minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviations from expected results.
The large amounts of currency handled in a casino make it vulnerable to theft by both patrons and staff. This is why most casinos have security measures in place to prevent such incidents, which are often referred to as “crime.” Security cameras located throughout the casino are the most basic element of a casino’s crime prevention strategies.
The casino business is a highly profitable one for its owners and operators. However, critics point out that a casino’s net economic contribution to a community is actually negative, because it diverts local spending from other entertainment and hurts property values in the surrounding neighborhood. The social costs associated with treating problem gambling addictions further undermine any positive effects a casino may have on a local economy.