A casino is a place where games of chance (and some skill) are played for money. Often casinos add other attractions to draw in patrons, such as restaurants, shopping centers, stage shows and dramatic scenery. But the vast majority of the entertainment for the average casino-goer comes from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps are just a few of the many games that contribute to the billions in profits raked in by casinos every year.

While it’s possible for gamblers to win large amounts of money, the mathematical odds always give the house a significant edge over the players. Because of this, most casinos make a profit even when the average gambler loses money. This is why casinos provide a wide variety of incentives for big bettors to keep them coming back. This includes free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows, as well as limo service and airline seats for high rollers. These bonuses are known as comps.

Most casinos also have an extensive security system. Some of this is obvious, like the armed guards who watch over the patrons. But other methods of security are more subtle. The patterns of behavior at the tables and slots are familiar to security personnel, who can easily spot out-of-character behavior. In addition, surveillance cameras in the ceiling watch every table and change window, and can be focused on suspicious patrons by security workers in a room filled with banks of monitors.