What Is a Casino?

A casino, or gambling house, is an establishment where people can take chances on games of chance with a wide range of different types of games. Many casinos also offer restaurants, stage shows and shopping centers to attract visitors, but the core of a casino is the games themselves. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, and keno account for the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos each year.

Because of the large amounts of money handled by casinos, they are prone to attempts at cheating and theft either in collusion with patrons or by employees. For this reason, modern casinos have extensive security measures in place. These may include a physical security force, which patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, as well as specialized surveillance departments that operate the casino’s closed circuit television system, sometimes called the eye in the sky.

The defining feature of a modern casino is its use of technology to monitor and control the game play. For example, some casino chips have built in microcircuitry to enable the casino to track the amount of money wagered on a particular game minute by minute and alert them to any statistical deviations from expected results. In addition, the casino’s high-tech “eye in the sky” surveillance systems allow security personnel to watch every table and slot machine from a room filled with banks of security monitors.