A Casino is a public place where a wide variety of games of chance can be played. While a casino may include other types of entertainment such as restaurants, shops and stage shows, gambling generates the bulk of its profits. A modern casino is much like an indoor amusement park, with noise, lights and action.
Besides the obvious betting tables and slot machines, there are card rooms, racetracks, bingo halls, and even golf courses. Some casinos are themed, while others have an eclectic mix of styles and designs.
In the past, many casinos were run by organized crime groups. In the 1980s, real estate developers and hotel chains bought out the mob and took control of most casinos. This was made possible by stricter federal laws against mob involvement in gaming and the threat of losing a license at any hint of mafia activity.
Casinos have extensive security measures in place to protect their patrons and property. These measures often include a physical security force that patrols the floor and responds to calls for help or reports of suspicious behavior, and a specialized surveillance department that operates a closed circuit television system known as “the eye in the sky.”
Casinos also reward their best customers with comps (free goods and services). High rollers are rewarded with free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. Some casinos even offer limo service and airline tickets to their top players. In order to qualify for these perks, gamblers must earn “comp points” by placing bets with the casino that are worth more than the average amount.