What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for gambling. It usually offers a wide variety of games that can be played on computerized consoles, at tables or with live dealers. Casinos also often feature a number of dining and entertainment options, such as bars, shows and restaurants. Some casinos are integrated with hotels or other resorts. Others stand alone.

In spite of their reliance on chance, casinos are a business, and they have to ensure that the house (the institution) wins in the long run. This is why they spend so much time and effort on security. Modern casinos are equipped with surveillance cameras, and computers routinely monitor the results of each game. For example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with systems that record and report on the amount of money wagered minute by minute. Roulette wheels are inspected regularly for any statistical deviation from the expected outcome.

Because something about gambling encourages cheating, stealing and scamming, casinos must be extra careful to make sure that their players are legitimate. They rely on a combination of technology and a large physical security force to patrol the premises and respond to calls for help or suspected criminal activity. Casinos also employ specialized departments to watch over the casino’s closed circuit television system, sometimes called the “eye in the sky.”

In addition to security measures, casinos focus on customer service and offer perks designed to encourage gamblers to spend more money. These are known as comps, and they can include free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even limo services for the highest rollers.