A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons wager real money on games of chance. Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks with elaborate hotels, lighted fountains, musical shows and shopping centers but the majority of their billions in annual profits come from the gambling games themselves. Slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat provide the gambling action that draws people to casinos.
Casinos employ many methods to prevent cheating and stealing, both in collusion between players or between staff members and the patrons themselves. Security starts on the casino floor, with employees keeping close eyes on games and patrons to detect blatant cheating (palming dice or cards, marking them, stealing chips) and general suspicious behavior. A higher level of security monitors the entire casino through closed circuit television, known in the industry as an eye-in-the-sky system.
While most casinos are located in the United States, there are several in other countries around the world. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is perhaps the most famous, having been featured in countless movies and TV shows, but there are also top-notch casinos in Monaco, Lisbon and elsewhere.
All casino games have a built-in statistical advantage for the house, which ensures that the casino will make a profit. This edge can be as low as two percent, but over time it adds up to enough money for the casino to build the spectacular hotels and fountains, buy the big-name entertainers and keep its staff paid.