Security at a Casino

The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers. But the real attraction is gambling, which brings in billions of dollars for casinos each year.

Beneath the flashing lights and free drinks, casinos rest on a bedrock of mathematics that is engineered to slowly bleed patrons of their cash. For years, mathematically inclined people have tried to turn the tables by using their knowledge of probability and game theory to exploit weaknesses in a rigged system.

There is one certainty in gambling: the house always wins. Every game in a casino has a built-in advantage for the house, which is called the “house edge.” The house edge may be only two percent, but it adds up over time and millions of bets.

Because of this virtual guarantee of gross profit, it’s no wonder that casinos spend huge sums on security. A typical casino has both a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The security team patrols the building and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The specialized department operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, which is nicknamed the eye-in-the-sky. These cameras can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons and can even record their actions if a crime or cheating is suspected. This enables the casino to monitor how much a person has won or lost, which can be especially helpful if the patron is a high roller.