The modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of its entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from games of chance. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels all help draw in the crowds, but casinos would not exist without games such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker.
All casino games have built in statistical advantages for the house that, over time and millions of bets, earn the house a small profit known as the “house edge.” In games where players play against each other, the house takes a percentage of each pot or rake, depending on the game. The remaining amount paid to the winner is called the payout. Casinos often give out complimentary items or comps to players, such as hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and limo service.
Casinos also make money by imposing strict rules and restrictions on who can and cannot gamble. This ensures that the gambling establishment remains a clean and safe environment and that the money that patrons win is their own and not stolen from the casino. Modern casinos employ both a physical security force and a specialized department to monitor the casino’s closed circuit television system, which is sometimes called the “eye in the sky.” Security personnel can adjust cameras to focus on suspicious patrons, or to watch specific tables. This technology has proven very successful in preventing crime and cheating at table games.