A Casino is an establishment for gambling and entertainment that features games of chance, as well as slot machines, keno, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker and craps. Many casinos are linked to luxury hotels and resorts, and some are built on cruise ships, in tourist destinations or as standalone facilities.

While glamorous hotel rooms, elaborate theme parks and dazzling musical shows attract visitors, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits they rake in every year from casino gambling. While skill and knowledge play a role in some casino games, the vast majority of the money a gambler loses is lost due to random chance.

Something about the atmosphere of the place – and the fact that people are betting huge amounts of money – seems to encourage some to cheat, steal and scam their way into winning the jackpot. That’s why casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security.

Security starts on the floor, where pit bosses and managers constantly watch players to spot blatant cheating like palming or marking cards. Dealers are heavily focused on their own games and can quickly notice betting patterns that indicate a player is trying to beat the house. Elaborate surveillance systems give the casino an “eye-in-the-sky” by tracking every table, window and doorway. Security workers can instantly shift the cameras to focus on suspicious patrons in a separate room filled with monitors.

But no matter how sophisticated the technology, casino security cannot completely prevent every conceivable cheating scheme. Even if all the games were run perfectly, the fact that they are based on random chance means that each game has a mathematical expected value that is always negative for players (although it varies from game to game). Something about this math, and the emotional involvement in gambling, seems to encourage people to try to beat the system.