A casino is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the bulk of the entertainment (and profits for its owners) coming from gambling. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps and keno are the games that draw in the crowds—and the billions of dollars in profits casinos take home each year.
Guests who gamble in casinos are ushered through security checks to keep out the mob, then treated to food, drink and luxurious hotels. Musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate themes add to the fun. Casinos even have private jets to whisk away big-spending visitors.
Some casinos have high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance systems that allow security workers to watch all the tables at once. The system can also focus on suspicious patrons and detect things like a dealer palming cards or switching dice. Casinos also use the system to monitor all the slots, catching statistical deviations that might otherwise be missed.
While casinos try to attract as many gamblers as possible, they are especially eager to lure high-stakes players. These people, called “high rollers” or “big spenders,” make up a huge percentage of the profits for some casinos. High-rollers are given “comps”—free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and limo service—based on the amount of money they wager. This helps casinos keep their edge—the mathematical advantage they have over players.