What is a Casino?


Casino is a building where people play games of chance for money. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes help draw in gamblers, but casinos would not exist without games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, baccarat, video slots and keno. These games give the house a mathematical expectation of winning, and even small bets can result in losses for the player over time.

Most casinos have security measures to deter patrons from cheating or stealing, either in collusion with each other or independently. Security cameras are located throughout the gaming floor. Electronic systems monitor the exact amounts of money wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from expected results.

In addition to promoting gambling, casinos often entice gamblers by offering free meals, drinks and hotel rooms. These promotions are called comps. In the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos were famous for their cheap buffets and free show tickets. The strategy was to fill hotel rooms and the casino floor with as many visitors as possible to maximize gambling revenue.

Casinos are mostly owned and operated by large corporations. They are regulated by government agencies to ensure fair play. A small number of states, such as Nevada and New Jersey, have casinos that attract visitors from all over the world. These are known as destination casinos. Most casino gambling is done by people who make a living gambling or who are very wealthy.