The Dark Side of Casino

Casino is an entertainment complex, built around games of chance. It offers everything from musical shows and lighted fountains to high-end hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and spas. But the vast majority of its profits (and the most fun) come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, poker and craps bring in billions of dollars a year. The casino industry is regulated by governments and the games are monitored for fairness. But there is a dark side to casino gambling that we’ll talk about later.

Casinos lure gamblers with flashy decor, pulsing music and nonstop noise. They use bright colors, especially red, to stimulate the senses and inspire action. There are no clocks on casino walls, because it is believed that the absence of reminders of time makes gamblers lose track of it and spend more money. Casinos also use patterns in their games to make it easy for security people to spot suspicious behavior. For example, the way a dealer shuffles and deals cards or how players react to the roll of a dice follow predictable routines that can alert staff when something is out of the ordinary.

In the 1960s, Las Vegas casinos figured out that they could make more money by offering a variety of attractions in addition to black jack and roulette tables. So they crowded their properties with show-rooms, free drinks and all-you-can-eat buffets to attract as many people as possible. But the casino business has become more selective in the twenty-first century. They are now focusing their efforts to attract the highest rollers, who can gamble for tens of thousands of dollars at a time. These big spenders are rewarded with comps, which include discounted rooms and tickets to shows.