A casino is a gambling establishment where people play games of chance or skill. It is a place where music, lights and noise create a mood and atmosphere that draws in gamblers to wager money. Although musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers attract customers to casinos, the vast majority of revenue comes from games of chance like slot machines, craps, blackjack, poker and roulette. The game of blackjack also has a strong element of strategy and is one of the few casino games where the house actually earns a profit through a commission known as the rake.

Casinos are guarded by security personnel who keep a close eye on players. They can spot blatant cheating like palming or marking cards, and they can see what bettors are doing with their chips. They can also monitor player behavior from a catwalk above the gaming floor. Security is particularly intense in Nevada where there are more than 340 casinos and many of them are huge resorts.

The casino business is highly profitable for the houses that operate them. Each game has a mathematical expectation that ensures the house will win more than it loses on any given day. To determine this expectation, a casino hires mathematicians and computer programmers who specialize in the field of game theory.

Most casinos reward big bettors with comps. These free goods and services include tickets to shows, hotel rooms and even airline tickets if you spend a lot of time at the casino’s tables or slot machines.