A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money or other prizes. Modern casinos add luxuries like restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery to attract customers, but they still focus on gambling as their primary business. Before the era of modern casinos, there were many less glamorous places that offered gambling opportunities. Some were called bars, saloons or brothels, while others simply sat people down at tables to play card and dice games.
While glitzy decor and flashing lights make casinos attractive to the average patron, there is one thing that gamblers need to remember: the house always wins. Every casino game has a built-in mathematical expectancy, or edge, that guarantees the house will eventually win. The higher the bet amount, the more likely that a casino will lose money over time. Casinos understand this, which is why they often offer big bettors free spectacular entertainment and luxury living quarters.
Casinos also employ a variety of security measures to deter cheating. Dealers are heavily trained to watch for blatant tricks like palming, marking or switching cards and dice. They also follow a strict protocol when dealing with hot players, who are more likely to lose than the average player. Casinos also have a surveillance system called an eye in the sky that tracks patrons, their chips and even their betting patterns.
A casino bonus is a small amount of money or credits that a casino gives to new and existing players. They are usually given in the form of a percentage of the deposit that is matched by the casino. Casinos use these bonuses to encourage players to play and keep them playing.