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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?

A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. Its name is derived from the Italian word for “small house”. Casinos are also known as gaming houses or gambling halls. The most famous casino is in Monte Carlo, Monaco, and other casinos are found around the world. Many of these casinos offer luxury accommodations and other entertainment such as concerts and sports events.

While glitzy musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers draw crowds, the bulk of a casino’s income comes from gambling. Guests bet on games of chance such as blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and slot machines, which provide the billions of dollars in profits that make up a significant portion of a casino owner’s annual revenue.

Casinos are designed to win as much money as possible from the bets placed by patrons, and they do so by taking advantage of a statistical advantage built into each game. This advantage, sometimes referred to as the house edge, is the casino’s virtual assurance that it will win over the long haul.

Casino security starts on the gaming floor, where employees keep an eye on the players and the games for signs of cheating or other unusual behavior. Dealers are especially vigilant and can spot blatant palming, marking or switching cards and dice, while pit bosses and table managers have a wider view of the tables and can look for betting patterns that might indicate cheating. Modern casinos often have a physical security force that patrols the premises and a specialized surveillance department that operates closed circuit television.