A casino is a gambling establishment where customers can place bets on games of chance and, in some cases, skill. Table games include blackjack, craps, roulette, and baccarat. Video poker and similar games are also common. The games are conducted by croupiers on live tables, and the house always has a mathematical advantage over the players (the advantage is more precisely expressed as the casino’s expectation of winning, or expected value). This advantage is commonly known as the “house edge”. The house can make money in addition to the money bet by charging a fee for some services, such as a commission on bets made by big bettors; this is called rake.

Modern casinos employ a large number of security measures to prevent cheating and theft by patrons, either in collusion or independently. These measures usually involve a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments. Casinos also rely on sophisticated technology to monitor the games themselves. For example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems at the table to enable casinos to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute, and to quickly discover any statistical deviation from expectations. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to detect any abnormal rotation.

Although the legality of casinos varies from state to state, most US states allow some form of casino gambling. In many states, gaming control boards/commissions are responsible for creating rules and regulations for casinos based on the state’s laws and licensing them to operate. In addition, most states prohibit the play of casinos by people who are on state or casino self-exclusion lists.