Casino is a gambling establishment, often on an enormous scale, where people gamble by playing games of chance and some skill. The games played include craps, roulette, blackjack, poker and video poker. Casinos are owned and operated by a wide range of businesses, including hotel chains, independent casinos, gaming corporations, and Native American tribes. They also generate billions of dollars each year for state and local governments in the form of taxes, fees and other payments.

Casinos are generally heavily guarded to protect patrons and employees from theft, vandalism, and other hazards. They use cameras throughout the building, and employees patrol the grounds regularly. The large amounts of money handled within a casino make it tempting for staff and patrons to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. Casinos spend a considerable amount of time and effort on security measures, and their profits depend on keeping these activities to a minimum.

Many casino patrons are addicted to gambling, and their addictions impose costs on the casino that are far greater than any gains from non-addicted gamblers. Among these costs are the cost of treating compulsive gamblers and the lost productivity caused by their spending away from work. Studies also show that the net economic benefit of a casino to a community is negative.

Casinos try to attract high-spenders by offering them perks like free rooms, meals and shows. They also use computer programs to track patrons’ usage and spending habits, and give comps to those who gamble a lot. These programs are akin to airline frequent-flyer cards, and allow the casino to develop a detailed profile of their customers for marketing purposes.