A Casino is a gambling establishment where customers gamble by playing games of chance and some that involve skill. The most common casino games include poker, baccarat, blackjack, roulette, craps, and slot machines. Casinos earn billions in profit each year from these games, which pay out at various rates. The term may also be used for a place that hosts casino-type entertainment such as musical shows and movies.
A casino is a business, and like any other business it has to make money in order to survive. To that end, every casino game has a built-in statistical advantage for the house. This advantage, sometimes called the house edge, can be very small, but it ensures that a casino will always come out ahead. This mathematical expectation, combined with the vig or rake taken from table games (where patrons play against each other rather than against the casino) is how casinos make their profits.
This virtual guarantee of gross profit allows casinos to offer big bettors a variety of extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxurious living quarters and reduced-fare transportation. It also explains why casinos spend so much time and money on security. Security staff are trained to notice patterns in the way people bet and move around a casino table or slot machine, and they are very good at spotting cheating, theft and other suspicious activity. Modern casinos have both a physical security force that patrols the property and a specialized department that monitors closed circuit television and other surveillance systems.