A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. The word is derived from the Latin casino, meaning “gambling house.” The modern casino has expanded far beyond its original limits to include hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping and even cruise ships. In addition to slot machines and felt tables with poker, blackjack and roulette games, some casinos feature live entertainment.

Modern casinos have a number of security measures in place. They typically have a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. In addition, many casinos have cameras throughout the property and monitor activities on closed circuit television. Security personnel are trained to spot suspicious or definite criminal activity by observing patterns. The movement of players, the shuffle of cards and the location of betting spots on table games all follow a certain pattern. When something does not fit that pattern, it is easier for security personnel to detect it.

Casinos make money by charging a small advantage on all bets placed within their establishments. This amount may be very small (less than two percent) but it adds up over time. As a result, they are rarely in the red, which is why they offer big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment and transportation and elegant living quarters while they gamble.

The most popular casino game is slot machines. These vary in complexity from the simple match-symbols-on-a-payline format to games with multiple pay lines, bonus features and jackpots. Many casinos also offer a variety of card games, from the ubiquitous Texas hold’em to lesser-played three-card and Omaha variants. Asian casinos often feature traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.