Whether you slap a bet on the roulette wheel or toss a few dice at a craps table, casinos are a place to satisfy your gambling itch. From the flashy lights and glitzy surroundings of Vegas to the more sedate, historic casino-like dens found around the world, they offer a variety of gambling games, high stakes action and entertainment.

In fact, it is the profits from these bets that make up the billions in revenue raked in by casinos every year. Casinos would not exist without the gambling that is the foundation of their operations. Slot machines are a standard feature at most modern casinos and generate the largest portion of a casino’s profits. The game is simple: the player inserts a coin or paper ticket, pulls a lever or pushes a button and the bands of colored shapes roll on reels (actual physical ones or video representations). The casino’s built in advantage can be less than two percent, but with millions of bets per hour the money adds up fast.

Unlike your grandmother’s weekend bus trips to the local casino, today’s casinos use a lot of technology to monitor their patrons. Elaborate surveillance systems allow security personnel to keep an eye on every table, window and doorway. In addition, chips with built in microcircuitry can track the exact amount of money being wagered minute-by-minute and detect any statistical deviation; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for anomalies to quickly spot cheating.