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A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. These facilities are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. Casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy and concerts. The word casino is derived from the Italian casona, diminutive of casa (house). A casino may also refer to a video game.

While casinos rely on elaborate hotel layouts, fountains, shopping centers and lighted statues to attract customers, the bulk of their profits come from games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker. These games of chance have a built in house advantage, which can range from lower than two percent to as high as five percent, depending on the rules and skill level of the players.

Modern casinos employ a number of security measures to ensure the safety of their guests and protect their assets. These measures include a physical security force that patrols the floor and a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, also known as the “eye in the sky”. Table managers and pit bosses are trained to spot blatant cheating like palming or marking cards or dice, and all tables have a “higher-up” person watching for suspicious betting patterns. In addition, many casinos have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down on the games through one-way glass. The downside of casino gambling is the cost of treating problem gamblers and the damage to local real estate prices caused by casino spending by people who cannot control their gambling habits.