A casino is a place where people pay money to gamble. Most casinos offer a variety of games that involve chance, although some also have elements of skill. The house always has an advantage over the players, which is mathematically determined and known as the house edge. The house makes its profit by taking a percentage of the total sum wagered, or rake in table games and by charging an hourly fee for certain card games. Casinos also give out complimentary items to gamblers, known as comps.
There are a wide variety of casino games, but most have a common theme: They all use a random number generator (RNG) to determine the outcome of a game. Some of these games have an element of skill, such as craps or roulette. Some are simply pure chance, such as baccarat or blackjack. Some are combination games, such as pai gow poker or sic bo.
Casinos are regulated by law and government, and some have strict rules for players. They are usually located in a resort or entertainment complex and have a dedicated staff to handle patrons. They often have a large selection of slot machines and table games. Casinos also offer food and beverage services, and some have theatres for live performances.
Security at casinos consists of both physical and specialized surveillance departments. The former patrols the property and respond to reports of suspicious or criminal activity, while the latter operates the casino’s closed circuit television system (known as the eye in the sky). Several sophisticated systems allow security personnel to watch multiple tables at once, and to focus on specific suspicious patrons.