A Guide to Casinos


Whether it’s hitting the slots, spinning the roulette wheel or throwing dice at a craps table, casinos are the best place to satisfy that gambling itch. They may add plenty of luxuries like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to help lure players in, but at their core they’re simply public places where people can play games of chance.

Something about the large amounts of money that are handled within a casino seems to encourage both patrons and employees to cheat, steal or otherwise try to game the system. For that reason, most casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security. They typically use cameras to monitor all activity, and they often employ a number of other security measures.

There are also rules that govern how a casino should treat its players, especially its big spenders. A “good” player might receive free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even limo service or airline tickets. These are called comps. A good casino will always have a specialized department that tracks player behavior and dispenses these perks according to a strict set of criteria.

One of the biggest and glitziest casinos is in National Harbor, Maryland, which boasts 3,139 slot machines, 165 tables and the area’s only live-action roulette wheel. However, its table-game minimums are unnecessarily high ($100 a spin for blackjack), and it’s difficult to maneuver around the cramped gaming floor. It’s still a fun place to people-watch, though.