Whether it’s the clinking of slot machines or the shuffling of cards, casino’s are the place to satisfy that gambling itch. And even if you’re not a gambler, they can be a lot of fun with plenty of food and drinks and other non-gambling activities.
Something about the large amounts of money involved in casinos encourages people to cheat and steal, either in collusion with other players or independently. That’s why casinos spend a huge amount of money and time on security. It starts with visible measures like cameras and security guards, but extends to subtler ways of keeping an eye on everyone’s actions. For example, the way a dealer shuffles and deals cards follows certain patterns that are easy for security to spot.
Aside from the obvious physical security, most modern casinos also employ a specialized surveillance department. This team monitors the casino’s closed circuit television system, or “eye in the sky”, and responds to calls for assistance or suspicious activity.
While gambling has been around for as long as humans have, the modern casino as a gathering place for different types of betting rose in popularity during the 16th century, when a gambling craze swept Europe. Italian aristocrats would hold private parties at places called ridotti, which offered a variety of games and were free from the watchful eyes of the Inquisition. This concept spread from Italy to other parts of Europe and the world, and today there are casinos in every state in the US and many other countries.