The term casino is usually applied to any establishment where people can gamble through games of chance. These may include slot machines, roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker, as well as craps, keno and other table games. Some casinos also offer other entertainment, such as theatre shows, restaurants and bars. The etymology of the word is Italian and it has been associated with many different forms of pleasurable activity through the centuries.
Casinos are generally based on a series of principles that have been successful in increasing the attractiveness of gambling for customers. Some of these principles are based on psychological research into gambling habits, while others involve physical design features. In general, a casino must be designed in such a way as to encourage people to gamble and keep playing for longer periods of time.
To achieve this, they often feature complex, tightly-packed arrangements of games and purposefully obscured exits, preventing players from leaving even when they are ready to stop. They also often feature dark color schemes, low ceilings and no windows near the gaming area, preventing players from seeing out to the outside world. In addition, most casinos waft a variety of scented oils through the ventilation systems to make players feel more comfortable as they play.
Because of the large amounts of money that are handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, most casinos have extensive security measures. These can range from cameras located throughout the building to specific personnel monitoring each game, looking for blatant cheating and observing betting patterns that could indicate cheating.