A casino, also known as a gambling house or gaming hall, is a place where people gamble on various games of chance. The term may also refer to a company that owns and operates a casino. Casinos are most commonly built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They often feature a variety of gambling activities, such as poker, blackjack, and craps. In some countries, casinos are licensed by government agencies to operate legally.
Something about the large amounts of money involved seems to encourage cheating and theft by both patrons and employees at a casino. As a result, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security measures. Some casinos have cameras positioned throughout the building; others employ elaborate surveillance systems that seem to have an “eye in the sky” and can be directed to focus on specific patrons by workers in a room filled with banks of security monitors.
Casinos use a variety of tricks to lure gamblers and keep them coming back. For example, slot machines are designed to appeal to the senses of sight and sound-the electronic key of C is tuned to a musical scale that is pleasing to the human ear; bells, lights and clangs of coins falling attract attention. Casinos also offer free goods and services, called comps, to loyal customers-especially those who play for hours on end at a particular game. These can include meals, hotel rooms, tickets to shows and even airline tickets.