When you gamble at a casino, the odds are that the house will win. There are a few built-in advantages that casinos use to make sure they get the most profit from every hand, spin of the wheel or roll of the dice. The amount of money that goes through a casino is so great that it would be nearly impossible for the owners to lose, even if every patron cheated and stole. That’s why casinos spend so much time and effort on security.
Modern casinos are usually divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The surveillance department operates the closed circuit television system, known in the industry as “eyes in the sky.” This allows security people to monitor patron activities at all times, looking for telltale signs of cheating or stealing.
Casinos are not just big gambling establishments; they’re often beautiful places of entertainment as well. They’re designed to attract and keep the attention of visitors, with decorations and music that accentuate the atmosphere. Traditionally, casino interiors have been decorated in bright colors like red, which is thought to have a stimulating effect. Many casinos also have no clocks on their walls, as it is believed that this helps patrons lose track of time and stay longer in the games.
The first casinos were established in Nevada, which allowed gambling and figured out how to market itself as a destination. As Nevada’s reputation grew, other states began to realize that they could capitalize on casino tourism, as well. Atlantic City and Iowa became major casino centers, while Native American gaming has helped to expand the number of casinos beyond Nevada.
Many casinos provide free services to patrons to encourage them to spend more money. These perks are called comps. They can include free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. Some casinos also give high rollers special rooms and other luxury perks. Casinos make a large part of their income from the gamblers who place very high stakes, so they tend to be choosy about whom they offer comps to.
There’s something about gambling that encourages people to cheat, steal and scam their way into a jackpot. This is why casino security is so important; it’s a huge business and requires lots of manpower and technology.
The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden first became a playground for royalty and aristocrats 150 years ago, and it still draws the rich and famous today. Its casino is the most lavish on this list, boasting a dazzling interior that’s inspired by the baroque flourishes of Versailles. The casino’s opulent decor includes red velvet, golden columns and 21 miles of crystal beads, and it is a pleasure to stroll through its elegant poker rooms, baccarat tables and roulette wheels. There are even private clubs and VIP rooms.