Casino is a term that is used to describe any establishment that offers gambling. In the past casinos were simply places that housed games of chance, but nowadays they often feature restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and other luxuries to attract gamblers. Some casinos even have hotels on the premises.
Casinos make money because every game has a built in advantage for the house, which is typically less than two percent. That tiny advantage adds up over millions of bets, allowing casinos to build enormous buildings with fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks.
Because of the high amounts of cash handled in casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. Hence, most casinos take several security measures to prevent this. The most basic is a series of cameras that monitor all areas of the casino. Another is a sophisticated system that gives casino managers a high-tech eye in the sky. This “virtual surveillance room” can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons.
Casinos usually offer a large variety of gambling games, from the standard fare like blackjack and roulette to regional favorites such as baccarat in Europe and trente et quarante in France, pai gow poker in Asia, and craps in the United States. Many modern casinos also have video poker and slots, which are a huge revenue generator for them. Some casinos even have special rooms for poker tournaments, which draw in professional players from around the world.