The Dark Side of the Casino Industry

The casino industry generates billions in revenue every year, thanks to a mix of glitz and glamour. Musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels draw in the crowds, but casinos would not exist without games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, roulette and poker. In fact, gambling in some form has been a part of human culture for millennia. It all started with a game of dice in 2300 BC, then card games took off around 500 AD and then the first modern-day casino, baccarat, made its way onto the scene in the early 1600s.

Table games still reign supreme, with most casinos boasting a variety of poker rooms. Other popular games include keno, baccarat, and craps. Some of the best-known casinos include the Bellagio, which boasts dancing fountains and an impressive collection of table games, and the palatial Wynn in Las Vegas, whose ceiling is adorned with giant pyramids, towers and replicas of famous landmarks.

Despite the glitz and glamour of the casino, there is a dark side to the business that has impacted communities across America. Studies show that compulsive gamblers account for a large portion of casino profits and detract from local spending on other forms of entertainment. In addition, the economic costs of treating gambling addiction and lost productivity due to gambling-related problems offset any positive benefits that casinos may bring to a community. Casinos can also have a negative impact on property values in local markets.