A casino, also called a gambling house or a gaming hall, is an establishment where people can gamble and win money. Modern casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other entertainment facilities. Some also offer live entertainment and other special events. A casino is an important source of revenue for the local economy.
A modern casino is a noisy, bright place where people can wager on games of chance and win money. While musical shows, lighted fountains and themed shopping centers are popular casino attractions, the vast majority of profits (and fun) come from the billions of dollars in wagers made on slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and baccarat.
Until recently, most states banned gambling, but Nevada was able to build a reputation for itself as the world’s premier gambling destination. As other states legalized gambling, Nevada lost its advantage.
Now, the state is trying to keep its edge by attracting high rollers from around the country. These people gamble with large amounts of money and often earn comps worth tens of thousands of dollars, including free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets.
Many casinos have a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The latter is referred to in the industry as the eye in the sky, and it monitors the casino’s floor with closed circuit television cameras. The surveillance system is designed to prevent any unauthorized activity and is highly effective. It is no surprise that many criminals steer clear of casinos, and their operators are always on the lookout for trouble.