The Darker Side of Casinos

A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. Modern casinos are like an indoor amusement park for adults, with musical shows, shopping centers and elaborate hotels. But the vast majority of the profits (and the thrill) are generated by games of chance, such as blackjack, roulette, craps and slot machines. These games give the casinos an edge that can be less than two percent, but over time millions of bets add up to billions in profits for the casinos.

These billions are what allow them to build dazzling buildings, lavish hotels and beautiful fountains. They also provide jobs and taxes for cities, towns and states. But there is a darker side to the business. Casinos attract a certain kind of person, primarily older parents who have vacation time and spending money. According to a 2005 study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS, 51 million people visited a casino in the United States, and worldwide there may be more.

What makes one casino unique from another is a mix of game variety, customer service and other amenities. It may be the location, such as a casino on Venice’s Grand Canals, or a free suite that is offered to gamblers. There are also casino perks, which encourage gamblers to spend more and reward them for their loyalty. Despite all of this, something about gambling, particularly the big winnings that can be accumulated, seems to encourage some people to cheat or steal in order to win. This is reflected in the high security costs that casinos must bear.