A casino is a building where people can gamble on games of chance, or in some cases with an element of skill. The most common casino games include roulette, baccarat, blackjack and video poker. Most of these games have built in statistical advantages for the house, known as the house edge. That advantage may be relatively small, but over millions of bets it adds up to enough money for casinos to build elaborate hotels and fountains, and towers and replicas of famous landmarks.
To offset the house edge, casinos take a variety of measures. Free food and drinks keep patrons on the premises (although they might also get them inebriated, which doesn’t reduce the house edge). Using chips instead of cash helps prevent cheating by making it harder to conceal and transfer wealth. Casinos also limit the number of transactions and amount of money that can be exchanged between patrons. They often use ATM machines, although some states regulate how many and where they can be placed.
Security starts on the casino floor, where employees watch over table games with an eye to catching cheaters. Dealers are trained to spot blatant tricks such as palming or marking cards, and to watch for betting patterns that could indicate a player is trying to steal money. They are often watched by pit bosses and casino managers, who can adjust their focus as necessary. The casino’s security systems also extend to the ceiling, where cameras in a bank of monitors can be aimed at tables and slot machines at the touch of a button.