What Is a Casino?


A casino is a type of gambling establishment that houses various games of chance. Modern casinos are often described as being similar to an indoor amusement park for adults, and while they may feature musical shows, lighted fountains, restaurants and shopping centers, they would not exist without games of chance such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker and slots. Online versions of these venues are also popular, and they offer much the same entertainment as a traditional land-based venue.

Casinos make money by accepting bets from patrons and then giving some of the proceeds to the players. Each game has a built-in advantage for the house that can range from less than two percent to more than 10 percent depending on the game. These edges, or expected value, allow casinos to make a profit even when only the smallest number of patrons win. Big bettors are usually offered extravagant inducements to return their business such as free spectacular entertainment, limousine transportation and elegant living quarters.

Modern casinos use many technological tools to ensure security and fair play. Video cameras are regularly used to monitor casino patrons and to watch for suspicious betting patterns. Table games are monitored by pit bosses and table managers who keep a close eye on the game, and they will alert other employees if they detect any unusual activity. Casinos also employ a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments. They work together to patrol the premises and respond to reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity.