What Is a Casino?



A casino is a gambling establishment, where people can play games of chance and win money. There are casinos in many places, but the most famous one is probably Las Vegas in Nevada. Other well-known casinos are located in Atlantic City, New Jersey and other states where gambling is legalized. Some casinos are also known as destination resorts, offering a range of entertainment and leisure activities along with gambling.

While a casino’s attractions, musical shows and other amenities help draw visitors, the billions of dollars in profits it rakes in each year come from games of chance such as slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat and poker. Many of these games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house always has an advantage, referred to as the house edge. In games of skill such as poker and video poker, the house takes a fee called the rake.

Because of the large amounts of money involved, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. To prevent these problems, most casinos employ a number of security measures. These include video surveillance, in which cameras are positioned throughout the facility and monitored by security personnel. Some casinos also have “chip tracking,” in which special betting chips with a built-in microcircuit track winnings and losses.

In addition to security, casino owners rely on comps—free goods and services such as food, hotel rooms, tickets to shows and limousine service—to attract big bettors. However, the amount of money a player spends and his or her level of play are considered in determining how much the casino will comp a person.