A casino is a facility where people can gamble and play games of chance. It may also include other entertainment such as shows and shopping. Its primary purpose is to generate revenue from gambling. A casino must adhere to strict regulatory standards in order to obtain a license. The facility must also be secure.
The concept of the modern casino combines luxury and luck in an environment that is designed to appeal to a wide range of tastes. While lighted fountains, musical shows and lavish hotels help draw in the crowds, casinos are mainly profitable because of their array of games of chance. Slot machines, roulette, blackjack and craps are the principal games that provide the billions of dollars in profits that American casinos generate each year.
In addition to these classic games, most casinos offer a variety of traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which spread to several European and American casinos during the 1990s), fan-tan and pai gow. A few casinos also offer games of local interest, such as two-up in Australia, banca francesa in Portugal, boule in France and kalooki in Britain.
Security at a casino begins on the casino floor, where dealers keep their eyes peeled for cheating patrons and observe betting patterns that could indicate suspicious behavior. More sophisticated surveillance systems offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky that allows security personnel to watch every table and slot machine in the casino at once, as well as adjust cameras to focus on specific patrons.