A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It also offers entertainment like shows and fine dining. Casinos are found in many countries around the world, and most states have laws that regulate them. The legality of casinos depends on state law and the type of gambling they offer.
Most casinos make their money by charging patrons a percentage of the total amount of bets made, called a house edge. This percentage varies by game, but it is typically lower than two percent. The house edge is what allows casinos to build elaborate hotels, fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. Casinos can also charge patrons for the use of their credit cards and other forms of payment, called a rake.
Modern casinos use a combination of physical security and specialized surveillance to protect their assets and patrons. Physical security personnel patrol the floor and respond to complaints and suspicious behavior. The specialized surveillance department operates a closed-circuit television system, known as the eye in the sky, that monitors all aspects of the casino.
Besides cameras, casinos also rely on the patterns and routines of the games themselves. For example, dealers shuffle and deal cards in specific ways, and players place their bets in predictable locations on the table. These routines allow security people to spot improprieties and prevent cheating. Casinos also employ sophisticated software to oversee the games, including “chip tracking” systems that record betting chips minute by minute to detect any statistical anomalies; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any tampering or bias.