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How Casinos Keep Cheaters Away

The word casino conjures images of gleaming Las Vegas megaresorts, pulsing with neon and fun. But there are casinos all over the world, from elegant spa towns like Baden-Baden to glitzy capitals such as Monaco and Lisbon. What they all have in common is a sense of style and glamour, an atmosphere that appeals to the human desire to win and to lose.

Something about the casino environment encourages people to cheat or steal, and it takes a lot of time, effort and money for casinos to keep the crooks at bay. Security starts on the floor, where staff watch patrons carefully to spot blatant cheating like marking or switching cards and dice. Then there are the more subtle ways to keep a casino secure: cameras mounted in the ceiling allow the eye-in-the-sky version of surveillance; betting chips have built-in microcircuitry to monitor their movements; and roulette wheels and dice tables are electronically monitored for statistical deviations from normal results.

Another way casinos keep their patrons happy is through comp programs, which reward loyal players with free or discounted meals and drinks, shows and slot play. These loyalty programs are also valuable marketing tools that help casinos develop a database of player information for use in direct mail campaigns. And of course, the more gamblers who visit a casino, the more money that casino makes. According to surveys conducted by Roper Reports and the U.S. Gaming Panel, the average casino gambler is a forty-six year old woman from a household with above-average income.