How Casinos Work

A casino is a place where champagne glasses clink and locals and tourists mingle in a festive atmosphere that makes even a lost wager feel like a big win. While some gamblers are seasoned pros who expect to win big every time they play, the majority of patrons simply enjoy playing the games for the thrill and fun. Even the most skeptics can’t help but get swept up in the excitement of the games as they spin and clack away their coins.

While many movies are content to gloss over the seedy underbelly of casinos, Casino takes an in-depth look at how a city built on gambling came to have ties to organized crime. The movie traces the mob’s influence from its inception in Vegas to its decline, all while focusing on three key characters.

On the floor of a casino, dealers keep an eye on each game, watching for cheating (palming, marking or switching cards or dice) and observing betting patterns that might signal a crooked patron. Elaborate surveillance systems allow security workers to monitor every table, window and doorway from a room filled with banks of video screens. Security cameras are also placed throughout the building and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by a staff member behind a console in the lobby. Slot machines are the main source of revenue for a casino, with 71% of its profits coming from them. They’re designed to mimic recognizable personalities, films and games in order to lure players in and make them want to play.