What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance or skill. Typically, casinos offer a variety of table games (such as poker, blackjack, and roulette), slot machines, and other electronic gaming devices. The rules and regulations of a particular casino dictate how much money can be exchanged for chips, how many games can be played at one time, and what the minimum and maximum bets are. Casinos also often feature entertainment shows and other amenities that attract visitors.

Modern casinos rely on sophisticated surveillance systems to deter crime and cheating. Cameras in the ceiling track every table, window, and doorway; they can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors dubbed the “eye in the sky.” In addition to cameras, most modern casinos employ a physical security force that patrols the floor and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspected criminal activity.

To keep gambling revenue high, casinos focus on customer service and provide a variety of perks to encourage gamblers to spend more than they intended. During the 1970s Las Vegas casinos advertised deeply discounted travel packages and cheap buffets, and provided free show tickets to gamblers. They also emphasized customer loyalty by offering “comps” such as free hotel rooms and drinks. Today, casinos are choosier about their customers and concentrate their marketing efforts on the highest-spending patrons. These “high rollers” play in special rooms away from the main casino and often make bets worth tens of thousands of dollars.