When the word casino is heard, bright lights and big money come to mind. From the glitter of Las Vegas to tiny mountain towns whose Wild West buildings are stuffed with poker tables and slot machines, casinos can be found throughout the United States. But despite the glamour and the flashy games, casinos would not exist without a certain element of chance.
Gambling has been a part of civilization in one form or another for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Mesopotamian kings and queens. In modern times, the casino is an important source of entertainment, drawing people from around the world to its dazzling array of games.
But the gamblers that flock to casinos are not all winners. Many lose far more than they win, and many of them are addicted to gambling. It’s not just the thrill of trying to woo Lady Luck that leads some to addiction; the psychological and physical problems associated with gambling can be severe.
Keeping players happy and safe is an important job for casino staff, who spend much of their time and energy on security. Besides the obvious surveillance cameras that watch every table, window and doorway, casino floors are often patrolled by security personnel and manned by floor managers and pit bosses who can spot shady patrons and suspicious betting patterns. In addition, a host of employees are trained to detect cheating and theft by patrons in collusion with others or independently.