Casinos are massive gambling halls devoted to games of chance that draw in billions in annual profits for the corporations, investors and Native American tribes that own them. Unlike your grandma’s weekend pai gow parlor, modern casinos feature restaurants, stage shows and shopping centers in addition to the gambling tables and machines. But even with all their luxuries and elaborate themes, these gaming establishments could not function without the games themselves. It is these table games of chance such as blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat that provide the billions in earnings raked in every year by casinos throughout the United States.
The casino of today is also heavily dependent on technology, especially in surveillance. The use of cameras allows security personnel to keep an eye on everyone from the entranceway, through windows and all the way to the tables and slot machines. The machines themselves are electronically monitored so that if there is any deviation from their expected behavior, the casino can be alerted immediately.
In the past, casinos relied more on perks to draw in gamblers and keep them coming back than on the games themselves. A big part of the draw was cheap rooms and food, but casinos also offered free show tickets and limo service for high-spending patrons. Today, most casinos offer comps based on game play to regular players who join casino clubs that operate much like frequent flyer programs. The clubs track a player’s activity, tally points that can be exchanged for free slot play or for reduced-price hotel room or dinner vouchers and allow the casinos to develop a customer database that they can use for marketing purposes.