A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. Modern casinos add a lot of other luxuries to draw in customers, like restaurants, musical shows and shopping centers. But they would not exist without games of chance, which are what bring in the billions of dollars in profits that make casinos a profitable business.
Casinos have always been associated with organized crime, and that association has helped to give them a shady reputation. In the early days of Las Vegas gambling, mob money flowed into the casino industry and helped it to grow faster than other legitimate businesses could have. Mafia figures took sole or partial ownership of many casinos, and they personally controlled some of the game tables.
In general, casino games have a built in statistical advantage for the house. This advantage can be as small as less than two percent, but it adds up over millions of bets and can help to make a casino very profitable. The advantage is also known as the house edge, vigorish or rake.
In addition to the advantage built into casino games, a casino has a number of security measures in place to deter cheating and theft by both patrons and employees. Many of these security measures are technological, but they also include rules and regulations regarding what patrons can and cannot do on the casino floor. Security personnel are constantly on the lookout for blatant casino tricks, such as palming and marking cards or dice, and they also keep an eye out for betting patterns that indicate possible collusion between players or with dealers.