A Casino is a gambling establishment, often located in or near hotels and/or resorts, that offers games of chance and some skill. Some casinos have a prestigious reputation for service and elegance, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas (featured in several movies and TV shows), or the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco. Other casinos specialize in particular games such as baccarat or poker, or offer amenities like top-rated restaurants and luxurious accommodations.
Despite the flashy lights, elaborate ornamentation, and opulent surroundings that characterize many casinos, their success ultimately depends on the revenue generated by games of chance. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps, and keno provide the billions of dollars in profits raked in by U.S. casinos each year.
Most casinos have a mathematical advantage over players, which is known as the house edge. In some games, such as blackjack and video poker, this advantage is built into the game rules; in others it results from a commission that is taken by the casino, known as the rake. Casinos also offer complimentary goods or services, known as comps, to players, depending on their level of play.
Because large amounts of money are handled within casinos, employees and patrons may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent this, casinos employ a number of security measures. These include manned security cameras throughout the building and the use of electronic systems to oversee game results (e.g., “chip tracking” allows for monitoring of betting chips minute-by-minute and to alert the casino to any anomaly).