The Casino and Its Many Facets


In casino games, the house edge is the advantage the casino has over the player. This edge reduces the player’s chances of winning and decreases the sizes of potential payouts. The house edge varies greatly among different casino games. For example, blackjack has the lowest house edge while keno has the highest. The house edge for a specific casino game can be as low as 0.5 percent or as high as 40 percent.

Casino security includes elaborate surveillance systems. Video cameras monitor each table and doorway and are positioned so that security personnel can easily spot suspicious patrons. In addition, casinos have “chip tracking” systems that use betting chips with microcircuitry to monitor wagers minute by minute. Roulette wheels are also electronically monitored and recorded to ensure that they do not deviate from the expected odds.

The casino industry in Nevada began to expand in the 1950s. Initially, legitimate businessmen were hesitant to invest in these casinos due to the gangster associations with gambling. However, the casinos were attractive to organized crime figures who had plenty of cash from their illegal rackets. The mob did not mind the image, however, and soon started pouring money into casinos in Las Vegas and Reno. In fact, some mafia members became personally involved with some casinos, threatening staff with gangsters’ money.

Aside from gambling, casinos also offer a wide range of entertainment options. Many casinos have Michelin-starred restaurants, and some even have performance venues where popular musicians, stand-up comedians, and circus troops perform. Today, the casino is synonymous with entertainment, and this is true of the Atlantic City and Las Vegas casinos.