Security at a Casino

In general, casino games involve chance with some element of skill. The vast majority of these games provide a long-term profit to the house, known as the “house edge” or vigorish; players who possess sufficient skills to eliminate this advantage are called advantage players. Most casinos offer a variety of card games such as blackjack and baccarat, in addition to dice and reel games like roulette and video poker. Several states have legalized casinos, with Nevada and Atlantic City being the best-known gambling destinations in the US.

In recent years, casinos have made great use of technology to supervise their games. For example, in a game such as roulette, the spinning wheel is electronically monitored minute-by-minute so that any anomalies can be immediately detected; and betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems to ensure that only valid wagers are placed. The mathematicians and computer programmers who work in this field are referred to as gaming analysts.

The security department in a casino is usually divided into two branches, the physical security force and the specialized surveillance department. The former consists of personnel who patrol the premises and respond to calls for assistance or to reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity; the latter operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, commonly referred to as “eye in the sky.” It is important that both departments be on the same page and share information about potential threats and how to protect the assets of the casino.