The Dark Side of Gambling

The casino is an entertainment complex based on gambling. It includes a wide range of games, from slots and table games to video poker and blackjack. Unlike land-based casinos, which are often surrounded by other entertainment and commercial facilities, the majority of the revenue generated by a modern casino comes from gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in customers, but the casino itself would not exist without the games of chance. Slot machines, roulette, craps, baccarat and blackjack generate the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year.

Something about casinos (perhaps the large amounts of money involved) seems to encourage people to cheat, steal or lie in an effort to win a jackpot. This is why so many casinos devote so much time and effort to security.

Today, casino security is usually divided into two departments. A physical security force patrols the floor and responds to calls for assistance or definite suspicious activity, while a specialized department operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known in the industry as an “eye-in-the-sky” system. The cameras are constantly monitored and can be directed at a particular patron, machine or section of the casino.

The modern casino is a huge facility that offers everything from a food court to top-notch hotels and entertainment. However, the dark side of gambling is not so easy to ignore. Studies show that compulsive gambling actually drains communities of their wealth, with lost productivity from those who cannot control their spending habits far outweighing any casino profits.

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