A casino is a place where games of chance are played for real money. While lighted fountains, shopping centers, musical shows and elaborate themes help draw in gamblers, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars raked in each year by slot machines, poker, blackjack, craps and other table games. These luxuriant gambling destinations can run the gamut from Las Vegas to Monaco, but they all share some things in common, including outrageous perks, lavish hotels and top-notch restaurants and spas.

Something about gambling (maybe it’s the money) seems to encourage cheating, stealing and other nefarious behavior, which is why casinos devote so much time, effort and money on security. Video cameras, fingerprint scanners and sophisticated software allow casinos to monitor all of the betting chips minute by minute and warn them quickly of statistical deviations from expected results. In addition, electronic systems monitor all roulette wheels and dice spinners to discover any tampering.

In the modern era, casinos have become more selective about who they allow to gamble and offer higher comps to high-rollers. These gamblers, who often play for tens of thousands of dollars at a time, may be given access to private rooms and special services. They are also rewarded with a lot of free food and drink, plus luxury hotel suites and other gifts. Despite the perks, many gamblers have a hard time quitting. They may start out small and gradually increase their wagers until they are spending a large percentage of their income on their addiction.