A casino is a gambling establishment, in which patrons gamble by playing games of chance or skill. The games usually have a house edge, which is the house’s mathematical expectation of winning over the player. The house edge exists because of the built-in nature of the games and the rules that govern them. Casinos also take a percentage of the money placed in them, known as the rake.

Gambling casinos are found throughout the world. Some are based in famous cities, such as Las Vegas, which is synonymous with gambling and has a large number of casinos. In addition to traditional casino games such as poker, blackjack and roulette, Las Vegas casinos offer a variety of other entertainment options, such as sports betting on large plasma screens.

Due to the large amounts of money handled within casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. This is why casinos spend a lot of money on security. Casinos use cameras to monitor everything inside and outside the building, and employ workers in a separate room to watch the footage. In some casinos, catwalks in the ceiling allow surveillance personnel to look down at tables and slot machines through one-way glass.

In order to encourage players, casinos offer free food and drinks. This helps to keep players on the premises and may even get them intoxicated, which reduces their concern over the money they are losing. In addition, many casinos use chips instead of cash to make it less obvious when a gambler is spending more than they should.