Gambling in the United States
Gambling is one of the most popular past times in the United States, and casino gambling is no exception. According to a recent study, 24% of Americans have visited a casino in the last year, compared to 14% in 1989. Among those who have visited a casino, only a quarter had a graduate degree, while nearly half had a few college credits or an associate’s degree. The statistics are interesting because they do not reflect the overall national education level, and they may be indicative of the casino’s popularity with the public.
The most common casino games are those with a house edge. These are banked games, with the house owning a stake in the outcome. Popular casino games include blackjack, roulette, craps, keno, and traditional slot machines. Nonbanked games are those in which the casino keeps a percentage of the wager and payouts depend on the number of players and the house’s cut. These games are often called percentage games and require players to wager a percentage of their total wager.
In recent years, casinos have made extensive use of technology to ensure that the integrity of their games is maintained. Computers and video cameras are routinely used to oversee casino games. “Chip tracking” involves betting chips with built-in microcircuitry. This allows the casino to monitor the number of bets minute by minute. Other modern casino technology includes the monitoring of roulette wheels, which are regularly checked for statistical deviations. For those who are afraid of playing, some casinos have closed their doors to the public to create a casino atmosphere.