A casino is a place where people can gamble and bet on a variety of games of chance. Modern casinos are very elaborate with many luxuries designed to attract patrons and make the games more fun. However, there have been far less elaborate places that housed gambling activities that would also be considered a casino.
Casinos are businesses and like any business they must turn a profit. The money made by the billions of dollars in bets placed on slot machines, black jack, roulette and craps help to provide the huge sums of revenue that casinos are capable of turning over each year. This profitability is achieved through a built in advantage that the casino has over the players, known as the house edge.
In addition to the obvious security guards who watch each table and change of window, casinos have elaborate systems that monitor all aspects of the games themselves. For example, betting chips are linked to microcircuitry that allows the casino to see the exact amounts being wagered minute by minute and to notice any deviation from a statistical expectation. Similarly, roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any anomalies quickly.
A casino can also reward loyal patrons with free goods or services, a practice known as comping. For instance, players who bet large amounts of money can be given free rooms, food and drinks. This is a way to encourage gamblers to spend more of their own money, and it can be an effective advertising tool for the casino.