Casinos are buildings where gambling games are played. While many casinos add luxuries, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, a casino is essentially a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance. The gambling games usually include dice, cards and slot machines. Some places, such as Las Vegas, are famous for their casinos; other cities and towns are not defined by them.
Casinos make money by offering built in advantages to the house, called the “house edge.” In some games this advantage is relatively small; in others it can be very large. The house edge allows the casino to cover operating costs, pay staff and build fancy facilities such as fountains, pyramids and towers. Some casinos also use the house edge to profit from a service charge, called the “vig” or the “rake,” which is taken from each pot in poker or similar games.
Most casinos have extensive security measures. Video cameras are everywhere and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Table managers and pit bosses keep a close eye on each game, looking for blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviation from the expected payouts.
A casino’s reputation for security helps attract high rollers, who may be willing to gamble large amounts of their own money. This brings in even more money. The casino can then give these players comps, such as free rooms and food, tickets to shows or limo service and airline tickets. In this way, a casino can reward its best customers and still remain profitable.