Casinos offer many types of entertainment, including a variety of gambling games.

Poker, roulette and blackjack are some of the most popular casino games. They are played with a house edge, which means that the casino takes a small percentage of each pot.

Historically, casinos have been an important source of income for cities and towns. They bring in tourists and local residents who have a desire to gamble.

They also generate money for local businesses, mainly restaurants and bars. But a casino can be damaging to a community, especially when people develop a gambling addiction.

Modern casino security is based on a combination of physical security personnel and specialized surveillance. Security forces patrol the casino and respond to reports of suspicious activity, and a surveillance department operates the casino’s closed circuit television system.

Elaborate surveillance systems include cameras in the ceiling that change windows and doorways, as well as a bank of monitors that are adjusted to focus on specific patrons. These systems are very effective in preventing crime.

Casinos also have strict monetary limits, and the games are monitored by a highly trained staff. These employees are able to spot cheats such as palming, marking and switching cards or dice.

Casinos offer a wide range of incentives to their customers, from free spectacular entertainment and transportation to reduced-fare hotel rooms and luxury living quarters. These incentives are known as comps, and they are offered to people who spend a lot of time at the casino or place large bets.