Probably the best-known casino in the world, the Bellagio is renowned for its beauty and elegance. It’s even featured in the movie Ocean’s 11. It offers a huge selection of games, including table games, slots and poker rooms. But it’s the fountains that attract many visitors to the casino.
There are a number of security measures that casinos take to protect patrons and their property. Security personnel patrol the floor, watching for blatant cheating like palming cards or switching dice. The dealers and pit bosses also watch for betting patterns that might indicate cheating. The more sophisticated casinos have a “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance system that uses cameras in the ceiling to watch every table, window and doorway. The cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by a computerized bank of monitors in a separate room. The monitors show the surveillance video on a continuous feed that is also recorded on tape.
Card games are a big part of most casinos, with blackjack and poker being particularly common in American casinos. In Europe, the principal gambling game is baccarat (or chemin de fer), which is played in British casinos and at the French casinos at Cannes, Divonne-les-Bains and Deauville. Baccarat is often played by high rollers and requires a minimum bet of ten thousand dollars or more.
Casinos are usually run by professional organizations regulated by state and provincial governments. Their operations are subject to strict rules and regulations designed to prevent gambling addiction, fraud and other forms of misconduct. While casino operators claim that they bring economic benefits to their communities, studies indicate that local gambling addicts shift spending away from other forms of entertainment; and the cost of treating compulsive gamblers erodes any monetary gain the casino makes.