A casino is a building that houses one or more gaming tables. It also includes a large room with a stage for live entertainment. Most casinos have a high-tech surveillance system that provides a “eye in the sky”. The cameras can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons by security workers who monitor the casino from a separate room. This system helps to prevent criminal activity, as well as providing evidence in the event of a crime or a cheating scandal.

Casinos earn their huge profits from games of chance, such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps. While musical shows, lighted fountains and luxurious hotels help draw visitors, the casinos would not survive without the billions of dollars that are raked in every year from players who gamble on luck and pure chance.

Something about the presence of large sums of money encourages people to try to cheat, steal or scam their way into a jackpot, which is why casinos devote a lot of time, effort and money to security. This starts on the casino floor, where employees watch over the games and the patrons to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. Table managers and pit bosses have a more general view of the table games, watching for betting patterns that might indicate cheating or collusion between players.

To make it easier for patrons to track their gambling expenditures, many casinos use chips instead of actual cash. This not only reduces the number of actual bills that could get lost or stolen, but it also makes it easier for the casino to keep track of how much a player is spending. Large bettors are often rewarded with extravagant inducements such as free shows, hotel rooms and even limo service or airline tickets.