A casino is a building that serves as an entertainment and gambling center. Modern casinos are often like indoor amusement parks for adults, with a large portion of the fun (and profits for the owners) coming from games of chance. Slot machines, table games such as blackjack and roulette, musical shows, shopping centers, elaborate hotels and fountains are all standard features.

While there are some exceptions, the typical casino customer is a person over forty who has a high income and enjoys spending money on leisure activities. This demographic is the target market for casinos, which are decorated with bright colors that stimulate and cheer people up, and which usually do not have clocks on their walls because they are designed to make gamblers forget about time.

Casinos employ many different methods to monitor and police their guests. Video cameras are used to observe casino games and patrons; a system called chip tracking allows the casinos to supervise chips’ movements minute-by-minute; and electronic systems monitor roulette wheels and craps tables for any statistical deviation from expected results.

During the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos pushed hard to boost their volume of casino customers by offering “comps,” or free items such as dinners, hotel rooms, show tickets and even limo service for big spenders. While this strategy did help increase gambling revenue, it also made casinos more attractive to criminals and other undesirable visitors. The mob had a lot of money, but federal crackdowns and the threat of losing their licenses at the slightest sign of Mafia involvement helped drive the mobsters out of business.