A Casino is a gambling establishment that features slot machines, table games, live entertainment and more. Its lavish hotels, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes draw in the crowds, but casinos wouldn’t exist without the billions of dollars that patrons wager each year. While casinos offer a variety of distractions, the vast majority of their profits come from games of chance, including blackjack, roulette, craps and keno.

A casino’s security starts on the floor, where employees keep their eyes peeled for blatant cheating or stealing. Dealers are trained to spot a number of different types of trickery, from palming cards and marking dice to changing betting patterns that may signal collusion. More sophisticated casinos use technology to monitor the games themselves. For example, “chip tracking” allows casino personnel to see exact amounts being wagered minute-by-minute; meanwhile, electronic monitoring of roulette wheels reveals any deviations from their expected results.

Many casinos also offer a rewards program similar to an airline frequent flyer card, where players swipe their player’s club cards before playing any game. In return, the casino comps them with free or discounted food, drinks or shows.

The average American casino gambler is a middle-class female in her forties, according to research conducted by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS. These households typically have above-average incomes, and they are more likely to be married than those of the general population. The mob once controlled a significant percentage of the casinos in Nevada and Atlantic City, but federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a license at even the slightest hint of mafia involvement have kept the mob out of the business for the most part.