A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. It has a reputation for glitz, glamour and high stakes. It also has a dark side. A casino is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on games of chance and offers concessions to patrons to encourage them to gamble. The casino makes money by gaining an edge over the bettors. This edge can be very small, but it adds up over time and the millions of bets placed by casino patrons to provide a substantial profit for the casino.
The modern casino resembles an indoor amusement park for adults, with musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotels to attract visitors. But casinos are nothing without the games that drive them: slots, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and poker, among others. These games are the source of the billions of dollars raked in by casinos every year.
Throughout the 1990s, casinos increased their use of technology to monitor the games themselves and alert them to any statistical deviation from expected results. For example, some of the betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that enables them to be electronically monitored minute-by-minute for patterns; and the rotating wheels on roulette tables are wired to detect any mechanical irregularities.
Because large amounts of currency are handled within casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. This is why many casinos have extensive security measures. These include video cameras and a team of guards that patrol the premises around the clock.