A casino, also known as a gambling house or gaming room, is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos can be found all over the world and are often combined with hotels, restaurants, shopping, entertainment, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as blackjack or poker. Others may offer more exotic games, such as baccarat or craps. Most casinos have a security staff to prevent cheating and other illegal activities.
Security in a casino starts with the dealers, who are heavily focused on their own game and can easily spot blatant cheating such as palming, marking, or switching cards and dice. Pit bosses and table managers watch over the various tables with a wider view, looking for betting patterns that could indicate cheating or other suspicious behavior. Elaborate surveillance systems provide an eye-in-the-sky view of the entire casino, with cameras in every window and doorway, all of which can be adjusted to focus on particular patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors.
While a casino makes money by selling gambling tickets and winning bets, it also charges a ‘vig’ or ‘house edge’ on every game. This built in advantage can be tiny, less than two percent on a typical slot machine, but it adds up over time and the millions of bets placed by customers. It’s this advantage that helps casinos build elaborate hotels and fountains, towers and pyramids, and to award their prestigious restaurants with Michelin stars and Wine Spectator Grand Awards.