Gambling is a casino’s primary business, providing the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year. Although musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw patrons in, the games of chance (like slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat) are what make the money.

A casino’s profit comes from the fact that each game has a built in advantage for the house. This advantage can be as low as two percent, but over the millions of bets placed in a casino, it adds up. This “vig” or “rake” is the source of a casino’s profits, and it allows them to build elaborate hotel-casino complexes with towers, pyramids and replicas of famous landmarks.

Casinos also rely on a variety of tricks to keep people gambling. For example, the noises of slot machines and gaming tables are electronically tuned to sound pleasing to the ear. In addition, more than 15,000 miles of neon tubing is used to light up the casinos on the Las Vegas strip. Humans are attracted to bright colors, so casinos use lots of glitzy lights, bells and whistles to lure patrons in.

Most casinos are very selective about the people they allow on their premises, focusing on big spenders who generate much of the revenue. These gamblers are given “comps” like free food, hotel rooms and tickets to shows. In some cases, comps even include limousine service and airline tickets. These high rollers also make sure to place their bets in special rooms that separate them from the main floor, where the stakes can be in the tens of thousands of dollars.