What Is a Casino?


The casino, or gambling house, is a place where people play games of chance and win money. Modern casinos are like an indoor amusement park for adults, with a large part of their entertainment (and profits) coming from the billions of dollars that people bet on chance-based games. Despite the shiny lights, musical shows and elaborate themes that draw in visitors, casinos wouldn’t exist without gambling.

The term casino can also refer to a specific game or set of games, and to the rules that govern them. Casinos often feature table games, such as poker, blackjack and roulette, as well as slot machines and other electronic gaming devices. Some of these games are “banked” games, in which the house has a stake in the outcome, while others are not. The house’s advantage in banked games can be as low as two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed each year.

In addition to securing the funds for their games, casinos must guard against cheating, theft and other problems. To this end, they employ a variety of security measures. For example, table dealers keep a close eye on the betting patterns of patrons to detect any crooked tactics, such as palming or marking cards. Other staff watch the floor from a higher perch, noting any suspicious activities. Security also uses video cameras to monitor the casino and its patrons.