The Dark Side of Casinos

A casino is an establishment where gambling-related activities take place. Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, with the vast majority of their entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and hotels help draw in the crowds, but casinos would not exist without these games of chance.

While casinos are known for their opulent decor, high roller lounges, non-gambling game rooms and hotels, they also have a dark side that the public is often unaware of. For one, casino gambling is not as lucrative for the local economy as it may seem; studies show that people who are addicted to gambling generate a disproportionately large percentage of casino profits and that compulsive gamblers shift spending away from other forms of entertainment in a community. Moreover, the economic cost of treating problem gambling and lost productivity reverses any benefits that casinos might bring to a region.

Due to the massive amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff members are prone to cheating and theft. For this reason, casinos have a number of security measures in place to deter such behavior. These include a network of surveillance cameras that provide a constant eye-in-the-sky and allow security personnel to monitor table play minute by minute; electronic systems that track betting chips’ microcircuitry to monitor exact wagers made and warn of any abnormalities; and roulette wheels that are monitored electronically to detect statistical deviations.

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