About a quarter of America’s population over 21 visited a casino last year. From the glittering Las Vegas Strip to gimmicky New York clubs to illegal Chinese pai gow parlors, casino gambling has become a major industry and part of our cultural fabric. While casinos are a good source of revenue, they are also a cause of addiction and crime. Almost a third of Americans have a gambling problem. Something about the presence of large amounts of money seems to encourage cheating and stealing by people who play casino games. Casinos spend a large amount of time, effort and money on security to prevent this.
In modern casinos, the surveillance system uses a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” that can monitor every table and change window at once. These cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors.
Another important aspect of casino security is the use of cameras to watch the players. This helps the security staff spot cheats like blatant palming, marking or switching cards and dice. In addition, the casino staff is trained to recognize certain betting patterns that indicate cheating.
Another way casinos make money is by charging a fee to those who play their games. This fee is usually a percentage of their total wager. It is referred to as the house edge and it can be very low (less than two percent) or very high, depending on the game.