The Sinister Side of Casinos

The Sinister Side of Casinos


Unlike a theme park or a shopping center, casinos make their money by gambling. While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels attract visitors, casinos would not exist without games of chance like blackjack, poker, roulette, craps and baccarat. These games of chance, along with a few that involve some skill, provide the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year.

Casino stars Robert De Niro in perhaps his finest performance, and he is supported by a wonderful cast of characters that includes Joe Pesci as the brutish mobster, Sam Rothstein, and a memorable turn by Sharon Stone as the seductive blonde hustler, Ginger McKenna. Stone was fresh off her breakout role in Basic Instinct, and her character is a whirlwind of charm and charisma who keeps the movie’s energy up.

In addition to the flashing lights, the blaring music and the sexy bodies, there are more sinister aspects to casinos that can be hard for gamblers to keep in mind. Almost all casino games have built-in advantages that guarantee the house a virtual assurance of gross profit, which is called the house edge. These advantages are based on mathematically determined odds, which give the casino an advantage over players, regardless of their skill or how long they play.

Something about the atmosphere of a casino encourages people to cheat, steal and scam their way into winning. This is why many casinos invest so much time, effort and money on security. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky, with cameras constantly scanning tables, windows and doorways, able to be focused on suspicious patrons by casino workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors.