Casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance to its customers. While entertainment shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help draw in the crowds, casinos wouldn’t exist without the billions of dollars in profits raked in from games of chance like slots, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno. This article takes a look at how casinos make their money, what you can expect when you visit one and the dark side of the business.

Traditionally, casino owners have made their money by charging patrons a “house edge,” which is designed to make the casino’s profits equal to or greater than the player’s losses. While this house edge is mathematically inevitable, casinos use a variety of strategies to reduce it and increase their profits. These strategies include offering big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, free transportation and luxurious living quarters. Casinos also make a profit by charging poker players a “rake” or percentage of each pot that they win, or a flat hourly fee.

Because of the large amounts of money that are handled within a casino, security is a major concern. This starts on the gaming floor, where dealers keep their eyes peeled for blatant cheating and stealing by patrons. Each table game has its own manager and pit boss who watches over the games with a broader view, making sure patrons are not colluding to cheat or following betting patterns that suggest they are stealing.