A casino is an establishment where patrons can gamble on games of chance, and in some cases skill. Some casinos focus on specific games, while others offer a wide variety of gaming options. Many casinos also have restaurants, hotels, non-gambling game rooms, bars, swimming pools and other facilities to appeal to a broad range of audiences.

Casinos have a strong emphasis on security and surveillance. They use cameras and sophisticated electronic systems to supervise their activities. For example, some casinos use chips with built-in microcircuitry to track the exact amounts wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviations from expected results. Casinos have more subtle forms of security, as well. The patterns of behavior and reactions of players at different tables follow set routines, and it’s easier for security workers to spot any erratic activity that deviates from these patterns.

Casinos make money by taking a small percentage of all wagers placed, or a “vig” or rake. This gives them a mathematical advantage over the players, and allows them to afford to pay out winning bettors large sums of money. Consequently, casinos have been known to lavish high rollers with extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury hotel suites and transportation. Casinos are regulated and licensed by governments to ensure that they operate fairly. They have become a major source of income for some states and nations. Casinos are typically located in areas with a high population density, where people can easily access them by car or public transport.