The Casino – The Place For Gambling Enthusiasts

The casino is a gambling establishment that allows patrons to gamble in games of chance and, if they win, earn money. While casino entertainment such as musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels draw in visitors, the billions of dollars raked in by casinos each year come from games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno.

Gambling casinos are not confined to Las Vegas and Atlantic City; many American cities have gaming facilities, including the renowned Indian reservations in Arizona, where gambling is legal. In the 1980s, casinos began to appear in a number of states, with many of these opening on Indian reservation land that was not subject to state antigambling laws.

Something about the presence of large sums of money seems to encourage cheating and stealing, whether by collusion between patrons or simply independent of any other consideration. Because of this, most casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. Security cameras are placed throughout the casino to observe patrons and staff for signs of cheating, while table games feature special sensors that can detect the slightest deviation from the expected results of a roll or spin.

Casino security is also aided by computer technology. For example, the chips used for wagering in table games contain microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems that monitor and oversee the amounts wagered minute by minute, alerting dealers to any unusual activity. In addition, modern slot machines are wired to computers that allow them to be monitored from a central location and alert operators to any suspicious activity.

Because of the virtual assurance of gross profit from any game, casinos often offer big bettors extravagant inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment and travel packages, hotel rooms and reduced-fare transportation. In addition, comps are offered to frequent gamblers to entice them to play for longer periods of time and to spend more money. Despite these incentives, casino gambling is addictive and may lead to financial ruin for those who cannot control their urges to gamble. Those who cannot control their addiction should avoid casinos altogether or seek professional help. There are a growing number of organizations that provide assistance to problem gamblers, as well as to their families. These groups can be found online or through community resources. In addition, the National Council on Problem Gambling offers a toll-free telephone hotline for anyone seeking help with a gambling addiction. This hotline is staffed 24 hours a day by trained counselors who can help individuals with their addictions and assist family members and friends who are trying to cope with a loved one’s gambling addiction. The number is 1-800-522-4273. The website also provides information about treatment programs, research and advocacy. The National Council on Problem Gambling is based in Washington, DC. The organization is a not-for-profit, nonpartisan and fully tax-exempt. Its board of directors includes a number of former problem gamblers. Its executive director is John M. Gray, a former executive with the New Jersey Council on Compulsive Gambling.