A casino is a gambling establishment where players risk money against the house, not each other. Casinos come in all shapes and sizes from massive resorts to tiny card rooms. They are located in cities and towns, on cruise ships, at racetracks converted to racinos, and even online. They rake in billions of dollars each year for investors, corporations, owners, Native American tribes and state and local governments.
Whether they are built in elegant spas like Baden-Baden, where the German actress Marlene Dietrich once played, or on the Las Vegas Strip, they provide an escape from reality for millions of people. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and luxurious hotels are all part of the attraction, casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and other games of chance generate the enormous profits that keep casinos profitable.
In the modern casino, players’ actions are monitored closely by security staff and video cameras. Dealers are heavily trained to spot blatant cheating like palming cards or marking dice. Each table has a pit boss or manager who monitors the action and keeps track of the amount each player is betting. Casinos also have “chip tracking” systems that monitor betting amounts minute by minute and instantly detect statistical deviations.
In addition, casino employees keep tabs on regular patrons and reward “good” players with free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and limo service. These comps are based on how much money a person gambles and for how long.