Casinos draw billions of dollars in profits each year from people who play games of chance. The money is sucked into casinos by slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat and craps, which have mathematically determined odds that give the house an edge over the players. This advantage is also called the “house edge.” Aside from the gambling, casinos feature restaurants, stage shows and lighted fountains to attract customers. But even without the musical shows, shopping centers and 5-star hotels, casinos would not exist without the games themselves.

Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal or scam their way into a jackpot. That’s why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Casino security starts on the casino floor, where pit bosses and table managers watch over patrons to prevent blatant cheating like palming cards or marking dice. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of the casino, and computerized monitoring detects statistical deviations in game outcomes instantly.

In addition to security, casino managers also try to lure gamblers with comps (free goods and services) like hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. These incentives are based on the amount of money a gambler spends at the casino. Comps are especially attractive to people who gamble for hours at a time on slot machines, as well as those who make large bets on the tables. These large bettors are often known as high rollers and can earn a VIP room, limo service and airline tickets if they keep on playing at the casino.