Sun. May 26th, 2024


A casino is a place where people play games of chance and skill. Whether in huge resorts or tiny card rooms, gambling casinos attract players from around the world. They draw billions of dollars in profits for the companies, investors, Native American tribes and others who own and operate them. They also provide tax revenues for state and local governments.

Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and scam their way into a jackpot. As a result, casinos spend much time, effort and money on security. Security starts on the casino floor, where employees watch patrons to spot blatant behavior like marking cards or changing dice. Video cameras above the slot machines offer a “eye-in-the-sky” view that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of monitors.

As casinos expanded in Nevada in the 1950s, mobster money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas. But when real estate investors and hotel chains realized how lucrative casinos could be, they bought out the mobsters. Federal crackdowns on mob activities and the threat of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of mafia involvement helped push gangsters out of the business. These days, the owners of major casinos are often affluent businessmen and politicians who don’t need Mafia protection. However, mob figures still own a few casinos, and they control much of the gambling in Las Vegas and Atlantic City.