A casino is a giant building filled with gambling games of chance and, in some cases, skill. Table games like blackjack and roulette, as well as slot machines and video poker, earn casinos billions of dollars in profits each year. Musical shows, lighted fountains and top-notch hotels help attract the crowds. But the heart of the casino is its games of chance.

Casinos also employ a number of security methods to ensure fairness and protect patrons’ assets. Several casinos have catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down through one-way glass on players at tables and machines. The high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems can be adjusted to focus on particular suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors. The systems are constantly monitored to discover any statistical deviation from expected values that might indicate cheating or a possible crime.

Most casino games have a built-in statistical advantage for the house, which can be as low as two percent or higher depending on the game and how bets are placed. This edge, known as the vig or rake, is what makes casinos profitable and allows them to build elaborate hotels, pyramids and towers and buy glitzy entertainment.

Some casinos reward regular visitors with free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows and even limo service. These comps are given out by the casino to its most loyal patrons based on the amount of money they spend playing at the slots and table games.