A casino is a gambling establishment that houses a variety of games of chance and offers various other entertainment activities. The modern casino adds extra luxuries to attract players, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. However, less elaborate places that house gambling activities can still be called casinos.
Most casinos offer a wide range of games, from classic table games like blackjack and roulette to more exotic fare such as sic bo (which spread to European and American casinos in the 1990s) and fan-tan. Those that cater to Asian players often feature traditional Far Eastern games, such as two-up and banca francesa. Other casino games include baccarat, craps, keno, and poker.
Something about gambling entices people to cheat and steal, either in collusion with other patrons or on their own. To counteract this, casinos spend a large amount of money on security measures. Typical measures include video cameras, electronic surveillance and a staff that patrols the premises.
Casinos make money by taking a small percentage of every bet placed on their machines. This may be as little as two percent of each bet, but it generates enough revenue to build huge hotels, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks. They also pay out big jackpots, such as the $39.7 million jackpot paid by a slot machine in the Excalibur in Las Vegas in 2003. In addition, casino patrons are rewarded with “comps,” or free goods and services, for their loyalty. These could include free hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets, airline tickets or even limo service.