The Casino Industry
The Casino industry grew rapidly in the 1950s in Nevada. Because casinos were illegal in all states except Nevada, many legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved. Organized crime figures, however, had plenty of cash from illegal rackets and did not mind gambling’s seamy reputation. This money poured into Las Vegas and Reno, and the mafia even took part in the ownership of some casinos. However, these players had to be very careful in deciding which casinos to patronize.
While the casinos accept all bets as long as they are under a limit, it is unlikely for patrons to win more than the casino can afford to pay. As long as the casino has a fair mathematical expectation for winning, gambling in a casino should remain an enjoyable experience. Casinos regularly offer big-time gamblers lavish inducements, like free drinks and cigarettes. Nevertheless, they are not the only institutions that have to make money.
In order to ensure the safety of the casino’s patrons and employees, casinos have invested in extensive surveillance systems. Video cameras are regularly placed in every room, and computers oversee each table and doorway. Computer-controlled chips are also used to track wagers, making it possible for the casino to monitor the progress of an individual’s game minute by minute. In addition, roulette wheels are monitored regularly for statistical deviations. Even the payouts of slot machines are determined by computer chips installed inside them, so that no one can monitor the floor.