A casino is a place where people gamble with cash or casino chips on various random events. A casino may also contain entertainment venues such as a theatre or a bar. The word casino comes from the Italian word for small clubhouse and was originally used to describe a meeting place for social occasions. However, it has come to be used for gambling establishments throughout the world.

Some casinos are more lavish than others, with grand ornamentation and a palatial ambience that impresses both the casual tourist and the high-roller. The casino at the Venetian Las Vegas is a fine example, as is Macau’s glittering Grand Lisboa, East Asia’s version of Las Vegas.

Casinos have security measures in place to prevent cheating and theft by patrons. Table managers and pit bosses keep close watch over the games, looking for blatant techniques such as palming or marking cards and examining dice for signs of switching. The surveillance system at some casinos has an “eye-in-the-sky” feature, with cameras in the ceiling that can be aimed at each game or table and shifted to focus on suspicious patrons.

Because of the mathematical expectancy of each game, it is almost impossible for a casino to lose money. For this reason, it is common to offer big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, transportation, and hotel rooms. To make the most of their income, casinos must understand their house edge and variance, and hire mathematical and computer experts to analyze the games and determine their profitability.