A casino is a gambling establishment that offers the excitement of games of chance. These include slot machines, table games and even a game of keno. Casinos are often adorned with flashing lights and glamorous themes. The casino industry draws in billions of dollars annually. This article will explore the history of casinos, popular casino games, how to play them and some of the dark side of this business.

The modern casino is much like an indoor amusement park, with a large percentage of profits coming from games of chance. Roulette and blackjack are the most popular games of chance. Craps, baccarat and video poker are also common. Most of these games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house has an advantage over the players. This advantage is known as the house edge. The casino earns money by taking a commission on the wagers placed on these games. It also gives out complimentary items or comps to gamblers who spend a lot of time at its tables or slot machines. These perks are often based on the amount of money spent, but high rollers may get free hotel rooms, dinners and tickets to shows.

Casinos were originally run by gangsters, but with federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a license at the slightest hint of mob involvement, legitimate businesses took over. The mobsters were replaced by big real estate developers and hotel chains, who saw the potential for a huge cash cow. These days, the security of a casino is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that operates its closed-circuit television system.