Casino is a gambling establishment that houses games of chance and, in some cases, skill. Casinos typically feature food, drinks and stage shows and promise an unforgettable experience. But a trip to one of these lavish venues won’t come cheap—and it can cost even more when you lose big at the tables.

Although casinos have evolved into elaborate entertainment destinations with high-tech surveillance systems, flashy fountains and replicas of famous pyramids and towers, their basic business model is pretty simple: Every game that a casino offers has a built in advantage for the house that can never be overcome by the players (though this edge can vary from game to game). This mathematical expectancy gives casinos virtual assurance of gross profit, and it’s this guarantee of a minimum return on investment that allows them to offer extravagant inducements to big bettors—free spectacular entertainment, luxury hotel rooms, free transportation and elegant living quarters.

Something about the gambling environment seems to inspire people to cheat, steal and scam their way into winning. That’s why casinos devote a large amount of time, money and effort to security. Security personnel have to be constantly aware of patterns—how a dealer handles the cards, where and how patrons place their chips on the table and what their body language tells security staff about their intent. And with the increased use of technology, casinos can now monitor each slot machine and table game minute-by-minute and spot statistical deviations immediately.