A casino is a gambling establishment, usually featuring table games, slot machines and other electronic gaming devices. A few casinos also offer live entertainment and dining. Casinos are sometimes combined with hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions.
The word casino comes from the Latin casinum, meaning “small house.” Early casinos were not very large; they consisted of a few tables and chairs around which people could gather to gamble. The modern casino has expanded greatly in size, with many having numerous table games and thousands of slot machines. Most casinos are designed to be entertaining and exciting, with noise and color creating excitement and tension. Some have stage shows and dramatic scenery to lure patrons.
While casinos have a reputation for being ripe for criminal activity, most are very careful to protect their profits and prevent cheating and stealing. The use of video cameras that are able to zoom in on suspicious patrons is common, and security personnel monitor the action from a room filled with banks of security monitors. In addition, security staff patrol the casino floor to keep tabs on suspicious patrons.
Casinos rely on their profits from gamblers to keep them open and operating. They offer big bettors extravagant inducements in the form of free spectacular entertainment, transportation and elegant living quarters. They also reward frequent patrons with “comps” such as free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. The casinos’ profits depend on the volume of players, and they are therefore constantly attempting to attract and retain players.