A casino is a gambling establishment where a variety of games of chance are played. The profits from these games, along with tax revenues from gamblers, provide billions of dollars each year for casinos and the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. Casinos also attract visitors from all over the world, making them a major source of tourism.
Despite the flash and glamour of casino hotels, shopping centers, stage shows, lighted fountains and replicas of famous buildings, casinos wouldn’t exist without games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and poker. Those games give the casinos their built-in advantage, which, over time, keeps them in the black.
Casinos use all sorts of tricks to persuade people to play. They offer comps, or free goods and services, to “good” players—those who spend a lot of time playing or make large bets. Comps range from food and drink to hotel rooms and tickets for shows. Many casinos also have player’s clubs that award points based on the amount of money spent at the casino’s tables and slot machines.
Because of the large sums of money handled within a casino, security is a big concern. Casino employees constantly monitor patrons to make sure no one is stealing or cheating. Some casinos use technology to keep an eye on the action: chip tracking enables them to watch the amounts wagered minute by minute; electronic table games have special sensors that detect suspicious betting patterns; and a computer monitors every spin of the roulette wheel in search of statistical deviations from expected results.