From the glittering casinos of Las Vegas to the illegal pai gow tables in New York City’s Chinatown, gambling houses of all shapes and sizes attract tens of millions of visitors each year. While lavish entertainment, dazzling hotels and swank shopping centers help draw people to these places of chance, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits raked in from gambling games like blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, craps and slot machines.

Modern casino security is usually divided between a physical force that patrols the premises and a specialized surveillance department that runs the casino’s closed circuit television system, sometimes called the “eye in the sky”. The surveillance department watches every table, window and doorway in the casino, with cameras located in every room and able to be adjusted by security workers in a control room filled with banks of monitors. The patterns of behavior in a casino follow predictable routines, so if something looks out of the ordinary it can often be spotted quickly.

Until the 1980s, American casinos were almost exclusively found in Atlantic City and Nevada. After that time, they began appearing on American Indian reservations and elsewhere, as states eased their anti-gambling laws. Some are built in conjunction with hotel-resorts, cruise ships and other tourist attractions, while others stand alone. In addition to security cameras and rules of conduct, casinos also use a variety of other methods to detect cheating or theft by either patrons or employees.

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