The Casino Industry


A casino is a building or room where gambling activities take place. It is also known as a gaming house, or a card room. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state governments, local government agencies or Native American tribes. The industry is very lucrative, generating billions of dollars annually for owners, investors, and employees. But casinos cause controversy because of the addictive nature of gambling and the societal costs of compulsive gambling, such as lost productivity and treatment of problem gamblers.

A successful casino requires tight security, which begins with personnel monitoring patrons and games. Security staff have trained eyes to spot blatant cheating, such as palming or marking cards. They also know the patterns and routines of various casino games, so they can spot any deviations from normal behavior.

The newest casinos have catwalks that run above the gambling floor, allowing surveillance personnel to look directly down on the tables and slot machines through one-way glass. Other security measures include smoke detectors, a system that alerts security to any unusual fires, and an electronic tally of all bets placed on each machine.

In addition to security, casinos focus on customer service. They offer perks, such as free drinks and food, to encourage gamblers to spend more money. They also have programs that allow gamblers to earn points that can be exchanged for hotel rooms, show tickets, or other amenities. Casinos use these loyalty programs to identify high-dollar customers and target them with advertising and special inducements.