Security and Technology in the Casino Industry

A casino is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. The modern casino is often an elaborate entertainment complex with food, drink and shopping areas, but it would not exist without games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, craps, poker, roulette and baccarat. These games account for the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos each year.

While many people visit casinos for the sole purpose of gambling, others attend to enjoy the food, drink and entertainment. Typically, casino patrons are wealthy and middle-aged or older. They are more likely to be women from households with above-average incomes than men and younger adults. Many casino patrons are also regular gamblers, visiting their favorite casinos frequently on weekend or during vacations.

The large amounts of money that are handled within a casino may encourage patrons and staff to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To combat this, most casinos employ a number of security measures. Most importantly, most casinos have cameras throughout the facility to monitor activity. In addition, many casinos require players to keep their winnings visible at all times.

In the 1990s, the casino industry made a dramatic shift toward technology in both security and gaming operations. Video cameras are routinely used to oversee the games; electronic systems track and supervise the exact amount of money wagered minute by minute, so that a casino can quickly discover any statistical deviations from expected outcomes; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover and immediately report any anomalies.