A casino is a gambling establishment, usually in an enclosed building, that offers a variety of games to patrons. The games range from a wide selection of slot machines to traditional table games like blackjack and poker. The majority of casinos earn the bulk of their income from slot machine play, which involves a simple process of inserting money and waiting for a pattern to appear on varying bands of colored shapes rolling past on reels (either actual physical ones or video representations). The machines pay out according to preset patterns without any input from the player beyond the initial placement of a bet.

Table games are more complicated but still require the involvement of casino employees to conduct them. These workers are known as croupiers or dealers. They may also be responsible for overseeing the use of chips with built-in microcircuitry or other electronic systems that allow the casino to monitor betting habits minute by minute and to alert them quickly of any statistical deviations from expected results. Other technology is used in casinos for security purposes: casino patrons are required to keep their hands visible at all times, and tables are monitored with cameras.

A casino’s profitability depends on attracting gamblers from outside the local area, and this has often been achieved by offering extravagant inducements to high rollers. These incentives include free spectacular entertainment, transportation and luxurious living quarters. Increasingly, however, casinos have been bought out by real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets and the motivation to stay away from mob interference.