A casino is a place where gambling activities take place, such as roulette and blackjack. It may also have other features, such as restaurants and stage shows. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them, as well as for state and local governments that regulate them and tax them.
In the 1990s, casinos dramatically increased their use of technology to supervise games and detect cheating. For example, chips with built-in microcircuitry enable the casinos to oversee the exact amounts that are wagered minute by minute, and electronic systems in table games like roulette can discover any statistical deviations from expected results. Many casinos have a high percentage of female employees to accommodate female patrons and minimize security risks.
Because every game has a house edge, casinos almost always make a profit on the money they accept from gamblers. To maximize profits, they concentrate on high-stakes players and offer them extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment and luxury suites (called comps) to keep them gambling.
The world’s most famous casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, but there are many others. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, for example, first became a casino destination 150 years ago and attracted royalty and European aristocracy; its lavishly outfitted casino is one of the most beautiful in the world. The Casino de Monte-Carlo and the Casino Lisboa are also highly regarded.