A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They may also offer concerts and other entertainment. The term may also be used in non-gambling contexts to refer to a military or civil officers’ mess.

Casinos make money by charging customers to play games of chance or skill that have built in advantages for the house, known as the “house edge” or vigorish. This advantage can be relatively small, but it is enough to cover operating costs and earn the casino a profit over time. In games of skill, such as blackjack and video poker, the house edge is smaller but still present.

Modern casinos generally have two specialized security departments: a physical force that patrols the floor, and a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, which is also known as the eye in the sky. The two departments work closely together and have been very effective in deterring crime.

In addition to security, casinos rely heavily on customer service. In order to encourage gamblers to spend more money, they offer perks such as free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows, and limo services. These perks are known as comps, and they are calculated by the amount of money a player spends and the stakes at which the gambler plays. High rollers, or “big spenders,” are a major source of income for casinos and receive the most lavish comps.