A casino (also known as a gambling house or a gaming room) is an establishment where people can gamble. Casinos are most commonly found in the United States and Europe. They often feature a mixture of casino games such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps. Many casinos also offer non-gambling entertainment such as restaurants, bars and shopping centers. They may also feature shows and other events.
Although lighted fountains and elaborate hotels help attract patrons, casinos would not exist without the games of chance that make them money. Slot machines, black jack, roulette, keno and craps provide the billions in profits raked in by American casinos every year.
Casinos employ a variety of security measures to protect their patrons and property. In addition to trained staff, they use advanced technology to monitor the games and detect cheating. For example, chips with microcircuitry enable casinos to monitor exact amounts wagered minute by minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviation from expected results. And sophisticated surveillance systems allow operators to watch the entire casino floor from a single location.
Gambling is a popular pastime worldwide, but it can also be addictive. Studies suggest that compulsive gamblers cause a significant negative impact on local economies. These include a shift in spending from other forms of recreation; the cost of treating problem gambling; and loss of productivity by workers who spend too much time at casinos. In some cases, the economic harm caused by gambling outweighs any revenue it brings in.