A casino (or gambling house) is an establishment offering certain types of gambling. These places are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. Some casinos also offer live entertainment like stand-up comedy, concerts or sports events. In the United States, a casino is generally the only place where legally licensed and regulated gambling takes place.
While dazzling music shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels help draw visitors to casino locations, the real money is made by games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps generate billions in profits for casinos each year. This article will explore how casinos make their money, the history of some popular casino games and what players should expect when they visit a casino.
The modern casino is a highly technological facility. Video cameras and computers monitor game play to detect cheating or other irregularities. In addition, most casinos now use technology to prevent the stealing of chips or other valuables from the premises. These systems include “chip tracking” that enables the casinos to keep track of the amount of money wagered minute by minute, and wheel-monitoring devices that can discover any deviation from the expected outcome of a particular spin.
A casino may also employ a team of security personnel to patrol the grounds. These employees are usually divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. Due to the large amounts of cash handled within casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to steal. The vast majority of casinos, however, have taken active measures to prevent this.