In modern usage, a casino is a gambling establishment with games of chance. While the modern casino adds a variety of luxuries such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to attract customers, the bottom line is that the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling activities such as slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette and baccarat. The house edge, which is a mathematically determined advantage for the casino over the gamblers, ensures that the casinos make money, no matter how many people play their games.
The classic example of a casino is that at Monte-Carlo, which first opened in 1863. Its elegance was such that German actress Marlene Dietrich called it “the most beautiful casino in the world.” More recently, the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden in Germany’s Black Forest has gained a reputation as one of the most spectacular casinos, with its red and gold poker rooms and plethora of blackjack and roulette tables.
Casinos usually employ a combination of physical security forces and a specialized surveillance department to protect their patrons and assets. The surveillance systems are usually sophisticated and include a high-tech eye in the sky that can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons or even specific table settings.
Despite the perception that casino gamblers are wild and reckless, research has shown that most are fairly responsible. The average casino customer is a forty-six-year-old female who lives with other family members and has an above-average income. They tend to gamble most often in the evenings and during weekends.