The Dark Side of Casinos

A modern casino is akin to an indoor amusement park for grownups, with elaborate themes and themed games. The vast majority of casino entertainment comes from gambling, and games of chance such as slots, blackjack, and roulette make billions of dollars in profits for U.S. casinos each year. There are also other games you can find at a casino, including baccarat and craps. However, there is a dark side to the casino, too.

In Nevada, casinos grew in size during the 1950s. However, many legitimate businessmen were wary of getting involved because casinos were illegal in every other state. Fortunately, organized crime figures had plenty of money from illegal rackets and didn’t mind gambling’s seamy image. The money flowed steadily into the Reno and Las Vegas casinos, with mafia members buying part-ownership in some of them.

Security at a casino is also tight. Casino employees keep an eye on both casino patrons and games. Dealers are focused on the game they are working on, but they can spot suspicious behavior and cheaters. Other employees, called pit bosses, monitor the games. They look for betting patterns and shady players. The higher-ups also follow each employee to keep an eye on suspicious behavior. Security is an integral part of a casino.

Most casinos offer some type of loyalty program, or comps, to attract repeat customers. Incentives are typically awarded based on the amount of money spent in a casino. However, there are also lesser-value comps for those who spend less than $500 at the casino. Comps are given based on spending habits, and are a great marketing tool for casinos. They help the casinos track trends in patron behavior, and they also generate a database of patrons who can be targeted for advertising.