A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance. In addition to the traditional gaming machines, casinos also offer table games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat and poker. These games may be conducted by live croupiers, or by random number generators.
Casinos today are much more than just gambling facilities. They often feature prime dining and beverage establishments along with performance venues where pop, rock and jazz artists come to perform for fans. They may even have shopping centers and other amenities that appeal to non-gamblers.
In the 1990s, casinos began using technology to monitor the games themselves. For example, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry enable the casinos to monitor exactly how much is wagered on each bet minute-by-minute and warn them of any anomaly; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results. Casinos also employ mathematicians whose job is to analyze the mathematical probability of winning and losing at each game, to create rules that maximize their profits.
Casinos are a popular source of entertainment, but some people become addicted to gambling and are unable to control their spending. Problem gambling is a serious and growing concern for casinos and many states require that employees be trained to spot the warning signs of addiction. In addition, most casinos display brochures about Gamblers Anonymous and other treatment options near ATM machines and pay phones. Several states have also established hotlines to help gamblers with problems.