A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. While elaborate hotel and shopping facilities, musical shows, lighted fountains and exotic scenery help draw in customers, the vast majority of the profits are made from games that involve pure luck. Slot machines, craps, roulette, blackjack, baccarat and other games of chance generate the billions of dollars in revenue that casinos take in every year.
Most modern casinos rely heavily on technology to ensure that the games are played fairly and according to the rules. For example, a casino’s computer systems can monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute to detect any statistical deviation from expected results; and table games use special chips that are linked to computerized systems to enable casinos to monitor patterns of bets that could indicate cheating. In addition, many casinos employ a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance system that uses cameras to watch all of the casino’s tables, windows and doors at once.
While gambling has a long and colorful history in American culture, it was not legalized until the latter part of the twentieth century. Until then, gamblers found ways to indulge in the games that they loved, often in illegal settings. The emergence of the modern casino has changed the face of gambling. While it offers a wide variety of entertainment options, most people who visit casinos are there to gamble, and they expect the gaming industry to be fair and honest.