A casino is a gambling establishment where a variety of games of chance are played. Some casinos add a wide range of other amenities in order to attract gamblers and keep them gambling. These may include restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. In some cases, these attractions are more attractive than the actual gambling itself. The word casino is derived from the Italian cazino, which means “little castle.” There are many types of casinos. Some are small and discreet, while others are huge and opulent. Most are heavily regulated by state laws.
Because of the high amounts of money involved, casinos are a tempting target for theft and cheating by both patrons and employees. To reduce these risks, most casinos employ extensive security measures. In addition to a visible security staff, casinos often use technology to monitor their gambling activities. For example, roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any deviation from their expected results. In addition, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute; and in some casinos, players can bet by pushing buttons rather than dealing cards or rolling dice.
Despite these efforts, the majority of casino patrons are still persuaded to gamble by the bright lights and glamour of the gaming halls. According to a 2005 study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS, the average casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income.