A casino is a building where people gamble by playing games of chance. Some of these games require skill, but most have a built-in advantage for the house, called the “house edge,” or expected value. The house edge ensures that, over the long run, casinos always make gross profit. Casinos also offer special inducements to keep people gambling, such as free spectacular entertainment and luxurious living quarters. These inducements are aimed at big bettors, but even lesser bettors can be lured with free drinks and cigarettes while gambling.

The movie Casino is set in the era of the mobster casinos of Las Vegas, and its depiction is both rueful and carefully attuned to institutional systems of grift. Its opening sequence, with a prowling Steadicam, is a sly nod to Goodfellas, while its finale lingers over images of the demolished Tangiers, lamenting that Sin City will never be the same.

Today’s casino owners rely on technology to ensure their facilities’ profitability. They employ chips with built-in microcircuitry that can monitor the amounts wagered minute by minute, and they regularly check their roulette wheels for statistical deviations. They offer free food and beverages to keep gamblers in the building longer, and they use simulated aromas and other effects to create a manufactured sense of bliss. Moreover, modern online casinos are designed to load and run quickly across a variety of devices, from desktops to mobile phones. This is a testament to the fact that casino designers understand that their products need to be accessible on all types of devices and platforms.