A casino is a gambling establishment offering games of chance and a variety of other entertainment, such as restaurants and stage shows. Casinos make billions of dollars in profits each year by offering a variety of games that appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds, including slot machines, blackjack, poker, craps and roulette. While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in patrons, casino owners would not be able to profit without the games of chance that provide the majority of their income.
In a typical casino, patrons gamble by playing games of chance or skill (either against the house or other players). Most of these games have mathematically determined odds that ensure that the house always has an advantage over the patrons. This advantage is known as the house edge or expected value. Table games, such as craps and roulette, often have higher house edges than slot machines and video poker. However, most games allow patrons to choose their bet amount, which minimizes the house’s advantage.
Because of their virtual assurance of a profit, casinos are able to offer big bettors extravagant inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment, transportation and elegant living quarters. Casinos also focus on customer service, offering a wide variety of comps to attract and reward regulars. Elaborate surveillance systems enable casino security workers to monitor every table, window and doorway. These cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons, and they can record events for later review.