A casino is a gambling establishment that allows customers to gamble by playing games of chance, or in some cases a game with an element of skill. These games include slot machines, baccarat, blackjack and craps. Some casinos also have poker tables where patrons play each other for money and the casino takes a commission, known as the rake, from each pot.

Most casinos have a house edge, which is the statistical advantage that the casino has over bettors. This advantage can vary from less than two percent to as high as six percent. This advantage is how the casino makes its profits and is one reason why state governments are wary of allowing casinos.

The modern casino is a bit like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of the entertainment (and profit for the owner) coming from gambling. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate hotels help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, craps and keno provide the billions in profits raked in by American casinos each year.

Casinos can be found throughout the world, although the majority are located in countries that allow gambling. They are usually large, heavily guarded facilities that employ a staff of security officers and support personnel to keep the patrons safe. Security is usually divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that monitors the premises using closed circuit television, sometimes called the eye in the sky.