A casino, also known as a gaming house or a gambling hall, is a place where people play games of chance. Although many casinos provide luxuries like stage shows, shopping centers and hotels to attract customers, they would not exist without games of chance that generate billions of dollars in profits every year. Blackjack, craps, baccarat and slot machines are just a few of the games that provide a large percentage of a casino’s revenues.

A modern casino often has a high ceiling painted with classical murals and hung with chandeliers, an open gaming floor, luxurious hotel rooms, world class entertainment and restaurants. It is common for casinos to use a variety of security techniques, including hidden cameras and trained personnel. Some of the more advanced technologies include catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to view activities at tables and slot machines from a distance; and electronic systems that monitor betting chips with built-in microcircuitry or roulette wheels to discover any statistical deviation from their expected values.

Casinos often reward regular players with free gifts or services, called comps. Big spenders, for example, may be given limo service and airline tickets in addition to free room service, meals, drinks and smoking while they gamble. However, the negative impact of compulsive gambling on local economies, as well as the cost of treatment for problem gamblers, often erodes any economic benefits that a casino may bring to its community.