A Casino is a place where people gamble by playing games of chance, and in some cases, skill. The game of choice is usually blackjack, poker or craps. The house has a built-in advantage over the players, which is known as the “house edge”.
The casino industry is enormous. According to the American Gaming Association, in 2002 alone, about 51 million people visited casinos domestically. This is roughly a quarter of all Americans over the age of 21. The industry rakes in billions in profit each year from gamblers who wager their hard-earned money on slots, black jack, roulette and other table games.
In addition to gambling, many casinos offer other forms of entertainment, such as floor shows and restaurants. The Bellagio in Las Vegas, for example, is famous for its fountain show and luxurious accommodations. The casino is also home to a branch of New York’s Le Cirque restaurant and Hermes and Chanel boutiques.
Despite the fun and excitement of casino games, they can be addicting, so gamblers must carefully monitor their spending habits. To keep patrons from losing their hard-earned cash too quickly, casinos offer free items or services known as comps. These include free hotel rooms, food and drinks, show tickets and limo service. Casinos often calculate a gambler’s play and time spent at the tables to determine their level of comp eligibility.
In the modern day, casinos rely heavily on surveillance technology to prevent cheating. Cameras are placed throughout the casino, and employees watch over table games with a more focused view. They look for blatant cheating like palming, marking and switching cards or dice.