A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance and skill are offered. While modern casinos add a lot of luxuries to attract customers, including restaurants, free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery, the basic casino is essentially a gambling hall.
While there is an element of luck in many of these games, the vast majority are based on mathematically determined odds that guarantee the house a profit over the players. This advantage is known as the house edge. Casinos also make money from the players by taking a percentage of each hand or pot, called rake.
Modern casinos usually have a physical security force as well as a specialized surveillance department. The physical security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or suspicious or definite criminal activity. The specialized surveillance department operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, commonly referred to as the “eye in the sky.”
While mobster involvement was once common in casinos, real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mobsters and began operating legitimate businesses without the mob’s interference. Despite this, something about gambling still encourages some people to cheat, steal or scam their way into a jackpot, which is why casinos spend so much time, effort and money on security.