What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling establishment, is a facility where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos provide many forms of entertainment, and some offer a mix of skill and chance, like blackjack, roulette, poker and video poker. While other features like musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels attract customers, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars raked in by their games of chance. Most games of chance have a built in advantage for the house, which can be as low as two percent or as high as ten or more depending on the game and how the house sets its payouts (known as a vig or rake).

The large amounts of money handled within casinos often lead to cheating and theft by both patrons and staff, either in collusion or independent of one another. To reduce these risks, most casinos have a variety of security measures. These can include the placement of surveillance cameras throughout the facility and more sophisticated systems that allow casino staff to watch all tables, slots and windows at once, through one-way glass.

Casinos also reward regular players with complimentary items or comps. These are based on the amount of time and money a player spends at the casino. For example, a frequent visitor may get free hotel rooms, meals or tickets to shows. Some casinos even give away airline tickets and limo service to big spenders.