A casino is a place where people play a variety of games of chance for money. The modern casino is much like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of the entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat are the most common games.
Casinos have many perks designed to encourage gamblers to spend more time and money gambling. For example, players who play slot games for a long time and make large wagers are often rewarded with free hotel rooms, buffet meals and show tickets. This is called comping and it is a very common practice in Las Vegas casinos. In fact, some casinos will even give limo service and airline tickets to big spenders.
Gambling in some form has been a part of almost every culture throughout history. Some of the earliest recorded casino activities were in Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. The modern casino is an upscale version of these early gaming establishments.
While modern casino owners may have deeper pockets than the mob that once owned them, they still need to worry about the possibility of a player cheating or stealing. To combat this threat, security cameras and computer systems keep an eye on the games and the patrons. Dealers are trained to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. Likewise, table managers and pit bosses watch over the betting patterns of players to look for signs of suspicious activity.