A casino is a gambling establishment, and an important source of income for the city or town in which it is located. Modern casinos offer a wide variety of gambling activities, including slot machines, video poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat. Many casinos also feature live entertainment, such as musical shows and comedians. Some casinos are built in combination with hotels, resorts, restaurants and shopping centers, while others are freestanding buildings or located on cruise ships.

Although other things may draw people to a casino, such as live entertainment and elaborate architectural design, the money that is won or lost at the tables and slots ultimately determines its success or failure. Because of this, casinos place a significant emphasis on security.

Casino security starts on the casino floor, where dealers are closely watching patrons to make sure they’re not stealing chips or cheating. Other casino security personnel, such as pit bosses and table managers, have a broader view of the casino’s operations and can spot suspicious betting patterns or other anomalies. Elaborate surveillance systems include catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor that allow security to look down on tables through one-way glass.

Large bettors, especially those who play for long periods of time or who spend thousands of dollars at the tables, are a priority for casino management. They are often given complimentary goods or services such as meals, hotel rooms, limo service and show tickets. A casino’s reputation for treating good gamblers well is an important part of its marketing strategy.