What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. From the elaborate Las Vegas casinos seen in movies like Ocean’s 11 to the illegal pai gow parlors of New York City, there are plenty of places to take your chances. This article explores what casinos are, how they make their money and what it’s like to visit one.

While casinos offer much more than just gambling games, most of their profits come from those activities. Slot machines, poker and other card games, keno, roulette and craps all provide the billions of dollars that casinos rake in every year. Something about the casino atmosphere seems to encourage cheating and stealing. This is why casinos devote a great deal of time and money to security.

The casino’s security begins on the gaming floor, where dealers and other workers watch the games for signs of cheating. A dealer who fumbles with cards or rolls dice can be easily picked out, and a pit boss can see patterns of betting that might suggest that players are colluding. Casinos also employ sophisticated surveillance systems, including a high-tech eye-in-the-sky that can scan the entire casino for suspicious patrons.

Some casinos even reward their best players with free food, hotel rooms and entertainment tickets. These comps, or “comps,” are based on the amount of time and money you spend at the casino and are usually given to high rollers. Casinos realize that these players make the most profit for them, and they are willing to invest more to keep them coming back.