A casino is a place where people gamble money on games of chance. Although they add restaurants, musical shows and a wide variety of other attractions to attract gamblers, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits generated by games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, keno and slot machines. Casinos are usually housed in luxurious buildings that may be designed to impress visitors, but they have also been built in more modest settings, and some casinos specialize in a particular game.

Casinos are usually monitored closely for security reasons, and technology plays an important role in this. For example, chips have built-in microcircuitry that allows casinos to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute and warn them if there is any anomaly; and a computer system monitors roulette wheels to discover quickly whether they are deviating from their expected results. Casinos hire mathematicians to calculate the odds and variance of each game, which inform them how much they can expect to win or lose as a percentage of total turnover.

Security is also aided by the fact that many casino games follow predictable patterns: for example, dealers shuffle and deal cards in relatively standard ways, and players bet in specific locations on a table. This makes it easy for security personnel to spot any deviation from the norm. In addition, high-tech eye-in-the-sky surveillance systems offer a bird’s-eye view of the entire casino floor and can be focused on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of video cameras.