A casino is a place where people gamble for money. It is a type of gambling establishment that is regulated by the state and offers high-stakes games such as blackjack and roulette. Casinos also have restaurants, nightclubs and other amenities.
In the twentieth century casinos became increasingly luxurious and specialized in attracting high rollers (gamblers who spend much more than average). High rollers are often given special rooms for their games, separate from the main casino floor. Their gambling habits and spending patterns determine the overall profitability of a casino. They are also given comps, or complimentary goods and services, such as hotel rooms, free buffet meals, show tickets, limo service and airline tickets.
Casinos have strict rules about player behavior, and security is a major concern. They employ both physical security forces to patrol the premises and specialized departments that operate the surveillance system, known as the “eye-in-the-sky” or CCTV. Cameras watch every table, window and doorway; staff can adjust the cameras to focus on suspicious patrons. Each table manager and pit boss is monitored by a higher-level supervisor to make sure they aren’t cheating by palming cards, marking or switching dice, or otherwise violating the rules.
Gambling has a notorious reputation for encouraging people to steal, lie and cheat in order to win. In the 1950s, organized crime figures had plenty of cash to invest in casinos and grew heavily involved with them. They controlled many of the largest casinos in Reno and Las Vegas, took sole or partial ownership of others, and even influenced game results by threatening casino personnel with violence.