A casino, as its name implies, is a place to gamble and play games of chance. The modern casino has become a global industry, with world-famous locations such as the Las Vegas Strip and Macau in east Asia drawing millions of visitors. While musical shows and lighted fountains help lure patrons, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars generated by their gambling machines and table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps and poker.

From the casino’s perspective, the house always wins. Every game has a built-in advantage that, even if skillful players break the edge, will eventually cancel out any gains and leave the house with a profit. Casinos use a variety of methods to reduce this edge and increase their profits. They employ sophisticated computers to monitor the tables and other gambling machines, keeping track of bets minute by minute. They also use “chip tracking,” a system that turns betting chips into computer microcircuits, which can detect and alert the casino to any statistical deviation from expected results.

Something about the presence of large amounts of money encourages people to cheat and steal, in collusion or independently; this is why casinos spend so much time and effort on security. In addition to the obvious cameras, casinos make sure that all employees have a clear view of their patrons, watching for suspicious actions such as palming, marking or switching cards and dice.

Casinos also reward big bettors with free food, drinks, limo service and hotel rooms. This is known as comping.