A casino is a place that offers an array of games of chance. Often, a casino is an elaborate building that has a lot of luxuries like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to help lure gamblers in. But, there have been less lavish places that house gambling activities and still qualify as casinos.

Most modern casinos have security forces that patrol the premises and a specialized department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known as the eye-in-the-sky. Cameras on the ceiling watch every table, window and doorway. They can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors.

Casinos also have cameras on the floor, in elevators and at the top of the building. In addition, some have catwalks that run the length of the casino floor and allow surveillance personnel to look down through one-way glass on players at tables and slot machines. The casinos are wired to transmit the video to a central surveillance room where security can respond immediately to any crime or suspicious activity.

Casinos make money by charging players a small percentage of the bets they place, which is called the vig or rake. In addition, they earn money from players who win or lose. This can add up quickly and cause serious problems for the gambler. It’s important to understand how the vig works before you play at a casino.