A casino (also known as a gambling house, gaming hall, or poker room) is an establishment where people can gamble by playing games of chance. Most casinos offer table games like blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat, as well as slot machines. Some even host poker tournaments and other forms of gambling.

Casinos make billions of dollars a year for the corporations, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. They also contribute to state and local economies through taxes and other fees. But something about gambling (probably the presence of large sums of money) seems to encourage people to cheat, steal, and scam their way into a jackpot. That’s why most casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security.

Besides gambling, most casinos offer restaurants and bars, hotel accommodations, retail shops, and entertainment events. They often feature brightly colored decor and lighting, intended to stimulate the senses and make patrons lose track of time. For example, red is a common color in casino interior design because it is believed to have a stimulating effect on the eyes.

Security in a casino starts on the floor, where casino employees constantly watch over patrons to spot blatant cheating techniques such as palming or switching cards or dice. Pit bosses and table managers have a broader view of the entire room, watching for suspicious betting patterns and a variety of other potential problems. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky, with cameras that can be focused on specific suspects by security workers in a separate control room.