Casinos are gambling houses that offer a variety of games of chance. Many of these games are purely chance-based, such as roulette, craps and video poker, but some require skill, like blackjack and baccarat. Casinos are located around the world and attract customers from all walks of life. Some of them are very large and luxurious, with an emphasis on entertainment, while others are smaller and more intimate. Some casinos are even built into hotels, such as the Niagara Falls Casino Resort, which has a stunning view of the Horseshoe Falls.
While elaborate themes, musical shows and shopping centers help draw customers, the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack and other table games generate most of the billions in profit raked in by American casinos every year.
In some cases, casino patrons and employees may try to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. They often use a combination of physical security personnel and specialized surveillance systems. Some of the more sophisticated facilities feature a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” system that allows security workers to watch every table, window and doorway in a building from a control room filled with banks of monitors.
Another way that casinos try to prevent cheating and theft is by using chips instead of real money. This turns cash into an abstraction that is harder to conceal, and it also helps the casino keep track of how much money people are spending on gambling. In addition, casinos usually lack windows and chiming clocks, which are more likely to remind patrons of how long they’re spending on the premises.