Casinos are places where patrons gamble by playing games of chance or skill. A casino may also offer food, drinks and entertainment. The casino industry is global and has grown to include casinos in many countries and cities. Most casinos are built on land, but some are located on ships or in the sky. Some casinos have elaborate fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. They are often opulent and flashy, with a strong focus on security. Some have restaurants and bars, while others have night clubs and other entertainment venues.
Because the large amounts of money that pass through a casino make it an attractive target for cheating and theft, most casinos are heavily secured. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” that allows security personnel to watch every table, change window and doorway. The cameras can be adjusted to focus on certain suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors. In addition, video cameras and a network of infrared scanners can be used to track players’ movement throughout the casino.
The most popular casino games are roulette, blackjack and baccarat (or chemin de fer in the United Kingdom) in Europe; pai gow poker in Asia; and slot machines in America. The majority of casinos also feature poker, with variations on Texas Hold’em being especially popular in the United States. Some casinos have tables for other games, such as snooker or boule in Britain; or two-up in Australia; and banca francesa and kalooki in Portugal.