The Casino’s Magic


We’ve all been there: You stride into the bright, temperate world of a casino with your wallet filled to the brim and plans for an enjoyable bit of gambling accompanied by two rounds of drinks. But hours later, you’re still there, unable to figure out what time it is and not sure where all your money went. This is the casino’s magic, and it involves sounds, lights, and physical design that are carefully designed to lead you in and hard to step away from.

Something about casinos—maybe the fact that they contain large amounts of money—seem to encourage people to cheat, steal and otherwise circumvent random chance in favor of their own skill or cleverness. As a result, casinos devote a significant amount of time and effort to security. It starts on the casino floor, where dealers and pit bosses keep a close eye on patrons to make sure they’re not stealing chips or changing their dice or cards. But it also includes high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems that let a security team watch all the tables, windows and doorways at once.

Casinos are also big business for local communities, providing jobs and much-needed tax revenue that often helps governments avoid cutting other services or raising taxes elsewhere. In some cases, casino revenue even helps local businesses weather downturns.