A casino is a place where people can play a variety of gambling games. A modern casino adds a lot of luxury to this basic concept, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Historically, casinos have also been associated with organized crime. In the days when gambling was illegal in most states, mobsters provided much of the money that ran Reno and Las Vegas. They also took part ownership or management roles in some casinos and influenced the outcomes of some gambling games through intimidation or threats to casino staff.
Today, casinos are a lot more careful about who they let in. They have a strict set of rules that must be followed in order to protect patrons and property. They have a physical security force that patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. They also have a specialized department that runs their closed circuit television system. This specialized surveillance department works very closely with the physical security forces and is an integral part of the casino’s overall security plan.
Casinos are very profitable businesses. They have a built-in advantage over their patrons that they call the “house edge.” It is very rare for a casino to lose money on any one game. This house edge is the amount of gross profit that the casino expects to make on its games, averaged over a large number of plays. Because of this virtual assurance of gross profit, casinos offer big bettors extravagant inducements in the form of free spectacular entertainment, rooms at luxury hotels and transportation. They also give comps to gamblers who spend a large amount of time at the casino.