In a casino, gamblers bet on games of chance. Some of these are “banked,” where the house collects a percentage of the total amount wagered; others, like roulette, baccarat and blackjack, pay out winning wagers in proportion to their odds of being successful. Many casinos also include a range of entertainment options such as stage shows and dramatic scenery. Some have restaurants and free drinks, aiming to encourage gamblers to spend more money than they planned.

Gambling is a form of recreation that has existed in almost every society throughout history, and casinos have become increasingly popular as more countries legalize the activity. Although some casinos have added elaborate amenities, such as dazzling lighting and theatrical sets, they would not exist without the games themselves.

Casinos are most commonly found in large cities such as Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Chicago, but they can also be built on American Indian reservations, where state antigambling laws do not apply. Some casinos are entirely automated, such as slot machines, while others have dealers or croupiers who oversee the game play. Casinos employ a number of security measures to deter cheating and theft by either patrons or employees. Security cameras are routinely used to monitor activity in casino rooms and video technology is used for chip tracking and other purposes.

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