Top Categories

What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can play games of chance and win money. Casinos may offer a variety of amenities to attract and retain customers, including food, drink, stage shows, and dramatic scenery. Successful casinos make billions each year for the companies, investors, and owners who operate them, as well as for local, state, and provincial governments that tax them.

Most casino games involve a mixture of chance and skill. Some of them, like poker and blackjack, have a house advantage that is mathematically determined by the game’s rules. Others, such as roulette and craps, have an expected value that is uniformly negative (from the player’s perspective).

To protect patrons’ privacy, most casinos limit the number of cameras in their premises. Some use catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down, through one-way glass, on the activities at table and slot machines. Elaborate security systems include high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” cameras that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious activity; these and the monitors in the ceiling can be monitored from a central control room by security staff.

Casinos often try to entice customers by offering free items, or comps. During the 1970s, for example, Las Vegas casinos gave away rooms, meals, show tickets, and other perks to lure gamblers. More recently, some casinos have focused on attracting high-stakes players by building separate rooms where the stakes are in the tens of thousands of dollars. These rooms are staffed with high-level dealers and often offer luxurious accommodations.