Casino is a place where people gamble on games of chance and, in some cases, with skill. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help lure in the customers, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits generated by gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat are the games that provide these profits and are at the heart of what makes a casino.
Something about the nature of gambling – the fact that large amounts of money are involved – seems to encourage cheating and theft, either in collusion or on a more independent basis. To combat this, most casinos have security measures in place. These may range from physical security forces to a specialized surveillance department, known as the “eye in the sky.” Cameras on the ceiling watch every table and change window, and can be adjusted by security workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors to focus on suspicious patrons.
Even though most casino games have a built in advantage for the house, the overall profit (or expected value) is negative. This is why casinos must charge a fee to cover their costs, which is called the vig or the rake. This can be a small percentage of the total bets placed, but it adds up over time. As such, casinos spend a lot of money on security measures. They also need to pay for the entertainment and amenities they offer to attract customers.