A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling activities. The term is most often used to describe a building that houses and accommodates such games of chance, but casinos can also include other forms of entertainment, such as live music or theater. They are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping or cruise ships and may offer a variety of games, such as poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and bingo.

While lighted fountains, musical shows and elaborate themes may draw in the crowds, most of the billions of dollars that casinos bring in every year come from gaming. Slot machines, baccarat, blackjack, roulette, and the like provide the fun and excitement that drives gamblers to spend their money.

Traditionally, a casino’s strategy was to attract as many people as possible and fill the hotel rooms and gambling floor with customers. To do this, casinos offered a variety of free goods and services known as comps to keep players coming back. These included things like free hotel rooms, dinners and show tickets. Today, casinos are much more choosy about their customers and focus on those who spend the most money. High rollers are often given private rooms and personal attention.

The rise of modern technology in casinos has helped them become more efficient and accurate. For example, chip tracking allows casinos to monitor exactly how much is wagered minute-by-minute and quickly detect any statistical deviation from their expected results. And a camera that watches a game from above, sometimes called an eye in the sky, can monitor large areas of casino floors for suspicious activity and even spot cheating at table games.