A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. The most common casino game is the slot machine, which dispenses small metal balls into spinning reels for a chance to win a preset amount of money. Some casinos also offer poker, black jack, craps, roulette and other games of chance. Some of these establishments are combined with hotels and resorts, while others stand alone. A casino may also host live entertainment events, such as concerts and stand up comedy.

Modern casinos often include musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate hotels. These luxuries help draw in customers, but they do not make up the bulk of casino profits. Most casinos generate their billions of dollars in profits from gambling, which involves placing bets on games of chance that have a built-in house advantage (usually lower than two percent). The houses gain this edge by taking money from players in the form of commissions called the “vig” or rake, depending on the game.

Because large amounts of currency are handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent this, most casinos have security measures in place. Most prominent among these are cameras located throughout the casino, which can monitor activities from a variety of angles. In addition, some casinos have catwalks over the casino floor that allow surveillance personnel to look down through one-way glass at table games and slot machines.