A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money. Modern casinos add a lot of luxuries to make the experience more entertaining and profitable, but they are still gambling centers at heart. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shops, restaurants and hotels all help draw the crowds, but casinos would not exist without the millions of bets placed on games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and slot machines.
Most casinos are highly regulated and audited to ensure fairness. The best ones employ security measures such as cameras, random number generators and special chips with built-in microcircuitry that enable the casino to track how much is being wagered minute by minute and to spot any anomalies. Computerized systems can also monitor roulette wheels and dice tables to detect any statistical deviations from expected outcomes.
To keep gamblers coming back, casinos offer complimentary items (complimentary is the Latin word for “gift” or “grateful gift”) like free food and drinks, show tickets and hotel rooms. These perks are known as comps and are a major source of revenue for the casinos. A 2005 study of American adults by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS showed that the average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. This demographic accounted for more than 23% of all casino gambling expenditures. The study also found that most gambling expenditures were made on table games and video poker.