Casinos offer a wide variety of games, entertainment, dining and shopping facilities.

Gambling – the act of taking chances and winning money – is an ancient practice that dates back to at least the Roman Empire. It has spread throughout Europe.

Almost all modern casinos have a physical security force that patrols the premises and responds to reports of suspicious or definite crime. They also have a specialized surveillance department that operates the closed circuit television system, called an “eye in the sky.”

Casino security depends on routines and patterns that are learned by employees through years of experience. Dealers, pit bosses and table managers keep their eyes on the games and patrons to make sure everything is running smoothly. They watch for signs of palming, marking cards or changing dice and can spot a cheat in a flash.

Elaborate security systems offer a high-tech “eye in the sky” that allows security workers to see every table and monitor the action on the floor from multiple angles. Cameras in the ceiling change windows and doorways, and video feeds are recorded for later review.

The games themselves are supervised, too, through sophisticated computer systems that track betting chips and roulette wheels. The casino can then tell the exact amount of money wagered on a game at any given time.

Some casinos have loyalty programs that reward players with points, which can be used to exchange for cash or perks at the casino. Most of these programs are free and easy to join.