A casino, also known as a gaming house, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are most often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other tourist attractions. They are staffed with people to run the games and provide customer service. Most casinos have a wide variety of gambling activities, but some are specialized.

Most casino games are based on chance, with some having an element of skill; for example, blackjack and poker. The house always has an advantage over the players, even when the odds are in favor of the player, and this advantage is mathematically defined as the house edge. Some casinos also offer complimentary items to gamblers, referred to as comps. The most famous casino is probably in Las Vegas, and other casinos have sprung up around the world as the popularity of the game spreads.

Something about gambling seems to encourage people to try to cheat, steal or scam their way into a jackpot, so security is a big concern for most casinos. Casino security is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The physical security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The specialized surveillance department operates closed circuit television and other sophisticated equipment to monitor the casino’s internal operations.

Most casino floors are decorated with bright and sometimes gaudy colors, such as red, to stimulate the senses and make people more likely to gamble. Casinos have no clocks on the walls, as they are thought to distract gamblers and make them lose track of time.

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