Security at a Casino

A casino is a place where patrons gamble on games of chance. It may be a lavish resort in Las Vegas or a small card room at a local bar. In either case, the profits from gambling activities earn billions of dollars for casinos, their shareholders, investors and owners. The casinos also generate income for state and local governments.

Almost all casino games have built in mathematical odds that give the house a slight edge over the players, which is called the house advantage. It can be lower than two percent in some games like blackjack, but higher in other games such as roulette or baccarat. The casino can offset the house edge by charging players a commission, known as the vig or rake.

Security is a huge part of casino operations. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Observant security personnel also keep a close eye on the regular patterns of casino games. For example, dealers shuffle and deal cards in specific ways and table managers and pit bosses watch betting patterns that might indicate cheating. Even the smallest deviations from these routines alert security to possible trouble. For the most part, though, casinos are a place where patrons bet on luck — and sometimes skill. They can win big, but they can lose big too. It’s why they have to invest so much time, energy and money in security.