A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. It may be a massive resort in Las Vegas or a small card room in a truck stop. It can also be a gaming establishment on a cruise ship or at a racetrack, or even in bars, restaurants and grocery stores that have games such as poker. Successful casinos take in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that run them. The state and local governments also reap substantial revenues in taxes and fees from casinos.

Something about the presence of large amounts of money seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and lie in casinos, and casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security. Most modern casinos have a physical security force that patrols the premises and a specialized department for surveillance. They use sophisticated video technology that allows them to monitor every aspect of the gambling operations. For example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that allows the casinos to keep track of how much is being wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored so that any statistical deviation is noticed immediately.

Casinos also make their profits by offering perks to high-spending patrons. These are known as comps, and they can include everything from free rooms to gourmet meals and show tickets. Less expensive comps are available to many regular patrons, and the vast majority of casinos offer frequent-flyer-type programs where players swipe their cards before each game to tally up points that can be exchanged for free slot play or other prizes.