What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment that offers gambling opportunities. Customers gamble by playing games of chance (and in some cases skill), such as poker, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and video poker. Most of these games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house has at all times an advantage over the players, which can be expressed more precisely as a negative expected value (from the player’s perspective).

While casinos feature other entertainment like musical shows, shopping centers and themed hotels, they would not exist without the billions in profits from the casino’s gambling business. The modern casino looks much like an indoor amusement park for adults, complete with dazzling lights, lighted fountains and luxurious hotel rooms. But while the modern casino may seem like a fun place to lose money, you can improve your chances of walking away with more than you went in with by setting a budget before you begin gambling, sticking to it and staying alert for signs of problem gambling.

Security is a major component of casino operations, especially since cheating and theft are common in gambling establishments. Casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on surveillance systems that provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” view of the entire casino floor. Cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons and can be monitored by casino employees in a room filled with banks of security monitors. In addition, many casinos use chip tracking technology to supervise betting activity and electronic roulette wheels to discover any statistical deviation from their expected performance.