According to the American Gaming Association, about 51 million people—one quarter of all adults over 21—visited casinos in 2002. This number includes both domestic and international travelers. While many of these visitors went to Las Vegas, some headed for the casinos in Italy and Switzerland, or even Chinatown. Other travelers took shuttle buses crammed with tourists, or flew on continuous flights to destinations like Macau and Atlantic City.
Most casinos rely on a variety of inducements and bonuses to attract gamblers. Known as comps, these perks are designed to make the casino profitable by encouraging gamblers to spend more than they would otherwise. Comps are often in the form of free shows, discounted travel, buffets, and hotel rooms. They can also include expensive entertainment, luxury suites, and golf courses.
In addition to being an entertainment venue, a casino is also a financial institution. It handles cash transactions, exchanges currency, issues checks, and processes wire transfers. As such, it has a lot of regulatory obligations in the United States. It is required to file a report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network whenever it handles more than $10,000 in cash in a single business day.
To control the flow of money in and out of the casino, it has a series of controls in place to keep track of all the chips. For example, dealers wear aprons or pants with no pockets so they can’t palm chips, and they have to turn their hands upward when moving them to and from the chip rack.