Gambling and the Casino


The modern casino looks like an indoor amusement park for adults, with music, lighted fountains and shopping centers drawing in the crowds. But it would not exist without the games of chance that make up the bulk of its billions in profits each year. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette and other table games draw visitors with their suspense and challenge, offering something for everyone from the high roller to your grandmother who enjoys taking weekend bus trips to the nearest casino.

The odds of winning are based on the game’s rules, number of players, number of cards in the deck, and the casino’s house edge. Despite this, 1000s of people a day go into casinos to gamble in hopes of hitting it big. Casinos spend a lot of money on security to ensure that patrons don’t cheat or steal their way into winning a jackpot instead of the random chance of luck. Elaborate surveillance systems include high-tech “eyes in the sky” that watch every table, window and doorway.

A casino’s mathematicians and computer programmers keep track of the house edge and variance for each game. This information tells them what kind of gross profit they can expect, and it also helps them to avoid making bets that will lose money for the casino. Players are rewarded with comps, or free goods and services, for their play, such as meals, hotel rooms, show tickets, limousine service and airline tickets. These rewards are not meant to be seen as gambling addiction counseling, but rather as an incentive for frequent, high-dollar play.