A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can play a variety of games of chance. While elaborate hotels, lighted fountains and shopping centers help lure gamblers into casinos, the billions of dollars that casino owners rake in each year come mostly from games such as blackjack, roulette, craps and keno.
A spokesman for one Las Vegas casino estimates that the average gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with an above-average income. In fact, a 2005 study conducted by Roper Reports GfK NOP and TNS found that the average American household earned nearly $200,000 annually.
Many gamblers are attracted to casinos by the freebies they offer, known as comps. Typically, these are rooms or meals, but sometimes they can include limo service and airline tickets. Comps are given out based on a player’s level of play and how much money he or she wagers. Those who play large bets often earn the highest comps, because casinos are trying to attract the big spenders and keep them coming back.
Besides the freebies, casinos also employ technology to ensure that players are not cheating. For example, some tables use chips with built-in microcircuitry that monitors the amount wagered minute by minute and warns the casino if the total exceeds or falls short of an expected value. In addition, video cameras provide a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire floor. There are also special electronic monitoring systems for roulette and other table games where the results are determined by spinning wheels or dice.