A casino is a place to gamble, usually with money. There are many casinos in the world, from the flashing lights of Las Vegas to the elegant pai gow tables of New York’s Chinatown. The casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants and other attractions. Some are built near natural landmarks, such as the glimmering waterfalls at Niagara Falls.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal; hence security measures are essential. Elaborate surveillance systems provide an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire floor from a separate room filled with banks of security monitors that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons.

Every casino game has a built in advantage for the house, and this edge can be as low as two percent per bet. This profit is known as the vig, or rake, and it makes the casinos profitable even when only a small percentage of bettors win. In addition, the casinos can make additional income from drinks, cigarettes and gambling-related merchandise.

To keep regular bettors coming back, the casinos offer them free spectacular entertainment and luxurious inducements, such as limo service and hotel rooms. For the big bettors, they can arrange special private rooms where the stakes are tens of thousands of dollars. These high rollers generate a huge percentage of the casino profits and are offered free spectacular shows, transportation and luxurious living quarters.