What Makes a Casino Special?

Whether they are in Las Vegas, Atlantic City or one of many other popular party cities around the world, casinos are a major source of entertainment and income for the cities that host them. While musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotels help draw in visitors, the billions of dollars raked in by casinos every year are earned mostly through gambling.

Something about the casino environment seems to encourage people to cheat and steal, in collusion or individually, with the result being that a very large percentage of casino profits come from people who should not be there at all. To counter this, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Staff keep their eyes on patrons in order to spot blatant cheating and to catch any attempts at stealing, such as a dealer switching cards or dice. In addition, all table games have a “higher-up” person watching them to make sure there are no improprieties.

Most casinos have a large number of table games, ranging from baccarat to blackjack, as well as dice games and roulette. Some casinos feature more traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo and fan-tan, while others offer games based on local preferences, such as two-up in Australia or trente et quarante in France.

Casinos use bright colors (primarily red) and gaudy decorations in an attempt to stimulate and cheer players. In addition, they often do not display clocks on their walls because the passage of time tends to slow down gamblers. This leads to a phenomenon known as “slot vultures,” people who know when a slot machine has reached a positive state and play it until the expected return is negative again.