A casino is a gambling establishment with games of chance, such as roulette, blackjack and video poker. Some casinos also feature a live sports book where gamblers can flick coins on American football, boxing and martial arts matches. Historically, casinos have been owned by mobster families or individuals. More recently, they have been operated by major hotel chains and real estate investors. Because of the inherent pitfalls in gambling, casinos devote a great deal of time and money to security.
Although many people gamble at casinos for fun, some do become addicted. Compulsive gamblers generate a disproportionate share of casino profits. They also cost local governments a lot of money in treatment and lost productivity.
Modern casinos use technology to monitor players and the games. For example, the chips used in table games have built-in microcircuitry to let the casino oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute and discover any statistical deviation from expected results. Casinos also use elaborate surveillance systems to watch the entire casino floor at once. Cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons.
To encourage more gambling, most casinos offer a variety of perks for frequent visitors. These may include free hotel rooms, buffet meals and shows. Some casinos even have clubs that allow players to collect points that can be redeemed for food, drink and slot play. Others use customer databases to target advertising.