A casino, or a gambling hall, is a building or room in which gambling activities take place. Casinos are often attached to prime dining and beverage facilities, as well as performance venues where pop, rock, jazz, and other artists come to perform for casino patrons. There is much to see and do inside a modern casino, but the gaming facilities are always a centerpiece.
Casinos make their money by combining the expected losses of each game with the bets placed by patrons, creating a mathematical advantage for the house. This house edge can be very small, less than two percent, but over millions of bets it adds up. This income is known as the vig or rake, and it allows casinos to build huge buildings with fountains, pyramids, towers, and replicas of famous landmarks.
Given the large amounts of currency handled in a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent this, casinos use a variety of security measures. These can include video cameras that monitor every table, window, and doorway, and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by staff in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors. Some casinos also have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down, through one-way glass, on the activities at tables and slot machines.
Although some casinos only offer a few games, others are massive megacasinos that feature numerous non-gambling amenities along with their gaming floor. For example, the Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is a major tourist attraction, featuring a shopping mall and a number of restaurants and bars. The Sun City Resort in Rustenburg, South Africa, is a large casino resort that includes a hotel and offers a wide selection of games.