The Casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance are played and gambling is the main activity. It also offers free drinks and elaborate stage shows. Adding to this surface decadence are lavish accommodations and restaurant amenities.

Something about the nature of casinos encourages people to cheat, steal or scam their way into winning a jackpot. This is why casinos devote a huge amount of time, money and resources to security.

The security begins on the gaming floor, where casino employees keep their eyes on both the games and the patrons. They can quickly spot blatant violations of game rules, such as palming, marking or switching cards or dice. They can also see betting patterns that may signal a pattern of cheating or a shady hand. They have a higher-up watching them as well, tracking them, assessing their performance and noting what they are doing right or wrong.

In addition, many casinos give a certain percentage of their money to “good” players, called comps. Usually these are people who play for long periods of time, are big bettors or spend a lot on slot machines. They can receive free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even airline or limo service.

In the past, many casinos were run by mobster families or had ties to the Mafia. However, real estate investors and hotel chains with deeper pockets bought out the mobsters and began running their own casinos without mob interference. As federal crackdowns increased and the mob started losing its power, legitimate casino businesses grew.