A Casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. While the modern casino may look like an indoor amusement park for adults, the billions of dollars in profits raked in every year are derived almost entirely from gambling. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps and keno are the games that bring in the cash. While musical shows, restaurants and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without these games of chance.
While the casino industry is often criticized for its high levels of profitability and addictiveness, it has managed to stay ahead of more conventional forms of entertainment in both Europe and America. The first modern casinos opened in the late twentieth century, and their popularity quickly grew worldwide as more countries changed their gambling laws to allow them.
Modern casinos use a variety of methods to ensure the safety and fairness of their games. Many use cameras to watch over the activities on the casino floor, and some even have computers that monitor the odds of various games. Statistical deviations from expected results are monitored minute by minute, and the computer alerts the staff to any anomalies. In addition, some casinos have adopted a system called “chip tracking” that allows betting chips to contain built-in microcircuitry that enables them to be tracked and audited.
To attract customers, casinos also offer free or discounted meals and drinks, rooms and shows. Known as comps, these are an essential part of the marketing mix and a key source of revenue. Most casinos also have player clubs that resemble airline frequent-flyer programs, and players are rewarded with points that can be exchanged for free slots or coupons for free or reduced-price food, drinks or show tickets.
In order to protect the assets of a casino, a security department is usually composed of both a physical police force and a specialized surveillance team that operates closed circuit television systems. These departments work closely together, and the surveillance team is often able to spot suspicious behavior that a police officer might not see.
According to a study conducted by Roper Reports GfK NOP, the typical casino patron is a forty-six-year-old woman who comes from a household with an above-average income. These women, who make up the majority of casino gamblers, are able to spend more than their male counterparts. They also tend to have more vacation time and disposable income than their male counterparts, making them a good target for casino marketers. However, it is important to note that problem gambling is a serious concern in the gaming industry, and studies have shown that compulsive gambling can actually reverse any economic gains a casino might realize. This is why it is essential for all casino operators to have policies in place to prevent problem gambling and enforce those policies whenever possible. Casinos that do not have such measures in place can find themselves struggling to survive, or worse yet, going bankrupt.