A modern casino is a place where visitors pay to enter, play and — hopefully — win. While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels help attract customers, the casinos would not exist without games of chance such as blackjack, roulette, poker, craps and baccarat. These games provide the billions in profits that casinos rake in every year.

Casinos use technology extensively for security purposes as well as entertainment and customer service. Video cameras watch gamblers, and computers oversee the games themselves. For example, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry enable casinos to know minute by minute exactly how much money is wagered on a game and to be alerted of any anomaly; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results.

Many casinos have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on the activities at tables and slot machines from above. In addition, casinos often have special devices that can detect the slightest change in the magnetic field of a coin or note as it passes through the machine, and computer programs can spot any suspicious activity.

When visiting a casino, remember to tip the employees. They see thousands of people gambling each week and probably have a good idea where the best slot machines are located. They may even be willing to share this information with you for a generous tip.

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