What Is a Casino?
A casino is a place where various games of chance can be played. It may have other entertainment features such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, but the core business is gambling. There are a number of ways in which casinos make money, but the most common is to take a percentage of each bet made by patrons. This is called the vig or rake. In some games, there is an element of skill that can reduce the house edge, but in general the house has a built-in advantage over players.
The most popular casino games are slot machines and blackjack, with a large share of the profits coming from these two types of games. In addition, there are roulette wheels (which can be mechanical or electronic), craps tables and keno. Some casinos also offer Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.
Most modern casinos have a security force and a specialized surveillance department. The security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious activity. The surveillance staff monitors the patrons using cameras that can be viewed by everyone inside the casino, including the employees. There are often catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on activities at the table and slot machines. Some casinos have closed circuit television systems that are monitored from a remote location.