A casino is a place where people can gamble and other forms of entertainment can take place. Most casinos feature gambling as a primary activity, but many also offer restaurant services, shows, and other attractions. In the United States, about 51 million people visited casinos in 2002.
A number of different games are available at casinos, and each game has its own house edge. This edge, calculated from the expected value of a bet, is usually expressed as a percentage (for example, 2% for roulette). Casinos use sophisticated surveillance systems to monitor patrons’ activities. Cameras are placed throughout the facility and arranged in a way that provides security personnel with a “fly-through” of the entire casino at any one time. Some casinos use a high-tech “eye in the sky” system where security cameras are mounted on the ceiling and can be shifted to focus on suspicious patrons.
In order to make sure that the casino always has a mathematical advantage over its patrons, most games have a minimum bet amount. The minimum bet is usually displayed on a sign or table. Casinos may also employ a variety of methods to ensure that their employees and patrons are not cheating or taking advantage of players. This is particularly important because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino. These methods can include hand-scanners to check for the presence of cash and other objects, and the use of a secret microphone to record conversations in private rooms.