A casino is a building where people gamble and play games of chance. It usually includes musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers, but gambling is the biggest attraction.

How Gambling Works

The main source of profit in casinos is gambling, including slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno. These games provide a large percentage of the money raked in by American casinos, which attract millions of visitors each year.

Table Games

Almost all casinos offer some type of table game, but some are more popular than others. The most common are baccarat, known in the UK as chemin de fer, and blackjack, which is played in France and America.


Casinos also offer a variety of poker variants, ranging from Caribbean stud to Omaha. Players compete for chips with other players at tables and shout out encouragement.


Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech “eye in the sky” that can track every table in a casino at once. Cameras in the ceiling can watch individual tables, change windows and doorways to focus on suspicious patrons, and can be recorded for later review.


In a casino, dealers are heavily focused on their own game, and can spot obvious cheating like palming or marking cards or switching dice. Dealers and pit bosses also keep a close eye on the casino’s entire operation, looking for stealing or other behavior that could be indicative of a security problem.

Casinos also use frequent-flyer programs to reward their loyal patrons with free or discounted food, drinks and entertainment. They are similar to airline loyalty clubs, but require membership in order to use them.