A casino, as the name suggests, is a place where gambling games are played. It’s a huge business, raking in billions of dollars in profits every year and often making its owners richer than most other industries.
Although musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels all add to the excitement of visiting casinos, most of the profits come from gaming – the playing of games of chance such as blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and slots. But how do they make money, and what are the secrets of success?
As its name implies, a casino has many security measures. While a physical security force patrols the floor, a separate specialized department operates the casinos closed circuit television system (CCTV), which is known as an “eye in the sky”. The cameras are placed throughout the facility and can be shifted to focus on any suspicious patrons. Casinos also monitor the games themselves through electronic systems such as chip tracking that records the exact amounts of money wagered minute by minute and warns employees if the odds of a game appear to have shifted.
However, not all casino games are created equal. Different games attract different types of players. The most popular are blackjack, poker and video poker, which offer low house edges compared to other casino games and generate the highest revenue for casinos. In contrast, other casino games such as keno and bingo have much higher house edges but are played by smaller crowds.