A casino is a large building where people can gamble and play games of chance. Modern casinos are often huge, with a variety of gambling games and non-gambling entertainment options, including restaurants, shopping centers, hotels and even swimming pools. While musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate themes help draw in crowds, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits that come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are the games that bring in the money.
Although the exact origin of gambling is unclear, it is believed that gambling in some form has been practiced by almost every society in history. Today, most countries have legalized some form of casino gambling. In the United States, Atlantic City and some American Indian reservations have become major gambling destinations. Outside the United States, many countries have casinos – the largest are in Macau and Singapore.
Most modern casinos feature a high-tech surveillance system known as the “eye in the sky.” A separate room filled with banks of security monitors allows casino surveillance personnel to watch every table, window and doorway from catwalks overhead. In addition, casino employees constantly watch patrons for atypical behavior that may signal cheating or other irregularities.
Casinos also reward their big-spenders with free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. These are called comps. Players can request a comp by asking a casino employee or at the information desk. Typically, the bigger the player’s bets and the longer they play, the more comps they get.