A casino, or gambling house, is a place where a variety of games of chance can be played and gambled upon. The modern casino adds a multitude of luxuries to help attract patrons, including restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery, but it would not exist without games such as slots, blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat. These games provide the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year.

Security is a huge part of casino operations. Casinos are closely watched by management and staff to make sure patrons don’t engage in illegal activities such as cheating. Casinos have a number of security measures in place, including a camera system that watches the entire floor and monitors the activity of each table, slot machine or other game. In addition, some casinos have a high-tech “eye in the sky” surveillance system where security personnel watch each table, window and doorway from a room filled with banks of computerized monitors.

Casinos accept all bets within an established limit, so that no one can win more than the casino can afford to pay out. This is called the house edge. A large portion of the casino’s profit is derived from big bettors, who are often lured with free spectacular entertainment and limousine transport, reduced-fare hotel rooms and meals, and even living quarters. The casino also makes money from smaller bettors, taking a percentage of their bets as commissions, known as the rake.