A casino is a gambling establishment offering a variety of games where chance plays a significant role. Most casinos also feature entertainment options such as stage shows, restaurants and bars. Often, these are combined into integrated resorts designed to attract vacationers. In addition to gambling, many casinos are known for providing upscale amenities such as spas and hotels.

Most modern casinos rely on elaborate surveillance systems to control cheating, theft and other problems. These are usually based on “eye-in-the-sky” technologies that provide security personnel with a panoramic view of the entire casino floor from cameras mounted in the ceiling. Security personnel can even focus the cameras to concentrate on particular patrons or suspicious activity.

In games where skill is involved, the house edge and variance are determined by mathematicians and computer programmers who specialize in gaming analysis. These professionals work for the casinos and are not employees.

Casinos rely on the fact that almost every game has a mathematical expectancy of winning and it is very rare for them to lose money, at least for one day. They make most of their profits by charging a commission, or “rake,” on winning bets. Casinos also gain a small amount from the sale of food and drinks, as well as a small percentage of the total bets placed on losing machines.

To entice people to gamble, casinos offer free drinks and tobacco while gambling, dramatic scenery and other special perks. They also reward their most loyal players with a variety of free goods and services, called comps. For example, big bettors are offered free hotel rooms, discounted or free show tickets and limo service.