The modern casino is a complex mix of gambling and entertainment. While lighted fountains and musical shows draw in the crowds, the bulk of a casino’s profits come from games of chance like slot machines, blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat and poker. While these games provide the thrill that draws in players, casinos also have a dark side. Many gamblers are addicted, and the cost of treatment for compulsive gambling and the lost productivity of those who work in casinos can offset any profits generated by these lucrative establishments.
The casino industry is a global business with locations all over the world. The largest casinos include US-based WinStar World Casino and Resort, China-based Venetian Macao & City of Dreams and the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. There are also casinos on American Indian reservations and in South America. Casinos are usually located near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping and other tourist attractions.
Casinos are often designed with security in mind. They use surveillance cameras, secure entry and exit doors, high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems that monitor the casino floor from above, and elaborate rules of behavior that ensure fair play. Some casinos even have catwalks built into the ceiling, allowing security personnel to view patrons from directly above.
Many casinos offer complimentary goods and services to “good” players, such as food and drink, hotel rooms, show tickets, limo service and airline tickets. The amount of money a player spends in a casino is usually rated and rewarded by the staff, with higher spending players receiving more rewards than low rollers.