A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can place bets on games of chance and, in some cases, skill. Casinos can also host non-gambling entertainment, such as musical performances and stand-up comedy. A large casino can be a significant economic engine for its home city, providing tax revenue and jobs.

A modern casino can use a variety of technology to prevent cheating and theft by its staff and patrons. Security cameras located throughout the building are a basic component of this system. Many casinos also have other sophisticated surveillance systems, including the use of microcircuitry in betting chips to enable them to monitor exactly how much money is wagered minute by minute and to warn staff if any unusual statistical deviations occur; and the ability to watch table game players via closed circuit television.

In addition to security, a casino relies on its games to make a profit. For example, in baccarat–which is the principal gambling game in European continental casinos patronized by the British–the house has a mathematical expectancy of winning. The same holds for most other casino games, including blackjack and poker, in which the house makes a profit by taking a percentage of the total pot or charging an hourly fee.

Casinos can also produce substantial amounts of tax revenue for their home cities, which in turn can help to reduce unemployment rates and bolster the local economy. These revenues can provide funding for essential community services or to keep taxes low, or they can be used to offset government budget cuts in other areas.