A casino is an adult-oriented entertainment facility that features games of chance and gambling. Its lighted fountains, musical shows and shopping centers may draw people in, but the billions of dollars in profits derived from gambling alone give casinos their main raison d’etre. Slot machines, poker, blackjack and other table games provide the excitement that allows gamblers to test their luck at winning big money.

Gambling is addictive and many people have trouble controlling their spending habits. This can have an adverse effect on a community, since it shifts spending away from other forms of local entertainment and may decrease the value of nearby real estate. Additionally, studies suggest that the cost of treating problem gamblers and lost productivity at work can outweigh any economic benefits a casino may bring.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent this, casinos invest a considerable amount of time and money into security. The simplest measure is to have surveillance cameras throughout the building, but more sophisticated systems can have a “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino, allowing security workers to focus on suspicious patrons.

In addition to security, casinos also pay attention to customer service and offer a variety of free items (or comps) to encourage players to spend more money. These can include hotel rooms, food, drinks, show tickets, and limo services. However, it is important to note that comps are not guaranteed and depend on the amount of time and money a player spends at a particular table or slot machine.