The word casino may bring to mind images of glamorous Las Vegas gambling halls, but casinos can be found all over the world. While a variety of luxury perks like restaurants, hotels, free drinks and stage shows help lure in gamblers, a casino’s primary business is gambling. Slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker and other games of chance are the source of billions in annual profits for casinos.

Modern casinos use a combination of physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments to prevent crime. The physical security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious activity, while a separate team operates a high-tech “eye in the sky” system that can monitor all the tables, window and doorways at once. This is especially helpful because the actions and reactions of patrons at casino games follow certain patterns, making it easy for security staff to spot any deviations.

In the past, a casino was often linked to organized crime or gangsters. But as real estate investors and hotel chains got in on the action, they bought out the mob and made casinos into major money-making enterprises. Today’s casinos are not only a place for gambling, but also an attraction for people of all interests and backgrounds. They attract people with their bright, sometimes gaudy decor and stimulating atmospheres that encourage a loss of track of time. And they reward big spenders with perks such as free hotel rooms, dinners, tickets to shows and even airline fares.

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