In modern casinos, security starts on the floor, where casino employees keep an eye on both the games and the patrons. Dealers watch their tables carefully, and table managers and pit bosses check out the tables for betting patterns or other suspicious activities. All these activities are recorded, and it’s easy to spot anything suspicious later on. Security at a casino also extends to the slot machines, which are randomly selected using computer chips.
During the 1990s, casinos started using more technology, such as video cameras and computers. Some use “chip tracking,” which allows them to track every bet minute-by-minute. Casinos also monitor the roulette wheels regularly for statistical deviations. Some casinos have even begun using enclosed versions of some of their games, which eliminate the need for dealers and instead allow players to bet by pushing buttons.
Gambling is a dangerous activity, and a casino’s security measures are designed to combat this problem. While most casino patrons are not addicted to gambling, it is important to remember that problem gamblers generate up to 25 percent of a casino’s profits. In addition, some economic studies indicate that casinos can have a negative impact on the community. Casinos typically draw local players, and the money they spend at the casino actually shifts money away from other forms of entertainment in the community. Moreover, the cost of treating and caring for problem gamblers can outweigh the economic gains of a casino.
Since the early days of gambling, casinos have evolved dramatically. Previously, Nevada was the only state that allowed gambling, but casinos quickly began popping up throughout the country. Later, states such as Iowa legalized “riverboat” gambling, and the Midwest started legalizing casino gambling. Even Native American tribes began opening casinos.