Casino (pronounced kah-sin) is a gambling establishment where people play various games of chance for fun and profit. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels draw visitors to casinos, the bulk of their income comes from games of chance.
Gambling predates recorded history, and primitive protodice were found in the most ancient archaeological sites [Source: Schwartz]. However, it is only in the 16th century that casinos started to become popular, as Italian aristocrats began holding private parties in what were called ridotti, or summer houses for rich people.
Modern casino security is usually divided into a physical force, patrolling the property, and a specialized surveillance department operating a closed circuit television system, known in the industry as an “eye in the sky.” Both departments work very closely with each other to ensure the safety of guests and the property’s assets.
The Casino’s Tech
In the 1990s, casinos embraced technology as a means to improve security. They began using video cameras to monitor and supervise players’ betting patterns, and they increased the use of chips with built-in microcircuitry that interact with electronic systems in roulette tables.
They also developed a system for preventing cheating and stealing, which involved placing cameras on betting chips so they could be monitored minute-by-minute. Other forms of monitoring include roulette wheels that are electronically tracked, and casino staff members who wear cameras to watch for suspicious behavior or suspicious gestures.
Although gambling is legal in most American states, some people choose to gamble illegally, often with the intention of winning large amounts of money. This is especially true for those with less education, and is a factor in the growing prevalence of casino-related crime.