A casino is a place where people can gamble. Although glitzy entertainment, shopping centers, theaters and fountains attract customers, the vast majority of casinos’ profits are generated by games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat. Casinos earn money by charging patrons a percentage of each game’s total payout. This fee is known as the vig or rake. The amount varies, but it’s usually lower than two percent.

Because of the high stakes involved, casinos are often the target of cheating and theft by both patrons and staff members. Because of this, casinos have strict security measures to deter these activities. These measures include surveillance cameras, secure entrances and specialized technology that monitors the games themselves. For example, some betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that allows a casino to monitor the exact amounts of money placed on each bet minute-by-minute and warn dealers of any unusual activity. Roulette wheels are also electronically monitored to discover any deviation from their expected results.

While casinos have gained worldwide fame for their opulent entertainment and luxury amenities, they would not exist without the games that draw in crowds. Learn how casinos make their money, the history behind some of their most popular games, how they stay safe and the dark side of the business.