A casino is a place where people can gamble. It is also a popular entertainment center and sometimes is combined with hotels, restaurants, resorts, retail shops and cruise ships. Some casinos host live entertainment such as stand-up comedy and concerts. Most casino games are based on chance, although some involve skill. The house always has a statistical advantage over the players, and this advantage is called the house edge. In some games, such as poker and blackjack, the house takes a commission from each player in addition to the winnings, which is known as rake.
Modern casinos are often large resorts that feature a wide range of amenities, such as luxury hotels, gourmet restaurants, stage shows and extensive gaming space. The gambling establishments earn billions of dollars each year for the owners, investors, Native American tribes and state governments. The gambling industry is regulated in many states.
Despite their luxurious trappings, casinos are not a place to relax and unwind. Unlike some other types of businesses, casinos require the constant attention of customers. As such, the design of a casino is highly tuned to keep patrons engaged, minimize their awareness of time and make them feel like they are on a special adventure.
Due to the large amount of money handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. Because of this, most casinos employ several security measures. These include a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that uses an elaborate closed circuit television system, commonly referred to as the eye-in-the-sky, to monitor the entire property.