Gambling in Casinos
The haze of smoke and flashing lights of casino floor make it a tempting place for those looking to try their luck at gambling. In 2008, 24% of Americans reported visiting a casino. The typical casino gambler is an older forty-six-year-old female from a family with above average income. Casinos typically offer big bettors extravagant inducements in the form of free spectacular entertainment, luxury transportation and hotel accommodations.
The large amounts of money handled in casinos attract cheats and thieves, both in collusion with each other or independently. For this reason, casinos invest considerable time and money into security measures. Many modern casinos have elaborate surveillance systems that give a bird’s eye view of the entire casino from a room filled with banks of security monitors. These systems can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. They also record video, making it easy to check up on cheats and thieves after the fact.
In the past, mobster control of casinos was common. However, as real estate investors and hotel chains got into the business they could easily afford to buy out gangsters. This, combined with federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a casino license at the slightest hint of mob involvement, has made it much more difficult for mafia-controlled casinos to stay open. Today, casinos focus on attracting high rollers who can gamble for tens of thousands of dollars at a time. These high rollers usually gamble in special rooms separate from the main casino floor, and they are offered lavish comps.