What is a Casino?

A Casino is a gambling establishment, with games of chance and skill. In the United States, casinos generate billions of dollars in profits each year for owners and employees alike. They are located in tourist destinations like Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Chicago as well as in racetracks and racinos. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker or blackjack. Unlike other forms of gambling, which are often anonymous and conducted in private, casino gambling is social and often involves interaction between patrons. Players shout encouragement to fellow gamblers during the game and waiters serve alcoholic drinks at tables or on the floor.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotel suites help draw in customers, casinos would not survive without their primary attraction: gambling. Slot machines, roulette, craps, baccarat and other table games generate the billions in profits that keep casinos profitable.

Casino patrons can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or on their own. To deter such behavior, casino staff monitor games carefully. Dealers, pit bosses and table managers watch over the action closely, observing patterns of play that can indicate cheating. Elaborate surveillance systems also provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” for security personnel, watching every table, window and doorway at once.

Casinos make most of their money from big bettors, called high rollers. To attract them, they offer comps, or free goods and services, such as food, drinks and show tickets. They can also provide luxury living quarters and limo service to frequent players.