What You Need to Know About Casinos

From the bright lights of Las Vegas to tiny mountain towns whose 19th century Wild West buildings are filled with poker tables and slot machines, casinos have long been a popular attraction for visitors who come to gamble and perhaps leave with a bigger wad of cash than they came with. In 2005, according to the American Gaming Association, the typical casino patron was a forty-six-year-old woman from an above-average income household. Casinos have adapted to this demographic, offering non-gambling activities such as restaurants and bars, hotels, and even swimming pools and spas.

Although many of the games played in casinos are based on chance, some do involve an element of skill, including blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. These games, along with slots and video poker, give the house a mathematical advantage over the players, which is called the house edge. This advantage is not always obvious to patrons, but it can be calculated in advance by a specialized computer program. Besides these games, casinos also offer other gambling products such as lotteries and keno.

Casinos have a variety of security measures in place to ensure the safety of their guests and the integrity of the games they offer. This starts on the floor, where casino employees keep a close eye on patrons and the games to spot any suspicious behavior. Elaborate surveillance systems provide an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino, allowing security personnel to watch every table, window, and doorway at once.