The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of the entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from gambling. Slot machines, black jack roulette, craps, keno and baccarat are the games that provide the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos each year. Casinos also offer a variety of other entertainment options such as musical shows, shopping centers and lavish hotels.
In the United States, casinos are primarily operated by commercial enterprises and Native American tribes. Most casinos are located in the Las Vegas valley, but some are situated in other major cities such as Atlantic City and Chicago.
Most casinos make money by charging a percentage of each bet placed by patrons. The amount varies by game and by the size of the bet, but it is typically less than two percent. This is known as the house edge and is a significant source of revenue for the casinos.
Because large sums of money are involved, casino patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To discourage this, casinos invest a great deal of time and money in security measures. Cameras are installed throughout the facility, and there is usually a dedicated surveillance team. Many casinos have catwalks above the floor, which allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on activities at tables and slot machines. There are also established patterns in the way that casino games are played, and observant security people can often spot deviations from these expected behaviors.