What is a Casino?


A casino (also known as a gaming house, gambling house, or casino) is an establishment where people can play games of chance for real money. Casinos are most commonly found in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, though they are also popular in many other locations around the world. Many casinos combine gambling with other entertainment such as shows and restaurants.

Casinos make most of their profits from gambling. Players gamble by playing games of chance, such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette and craps. Some games of chance involve skill, such as poker and baccarat. Each game has a mathematically determined advantage for the house, which is called the “house edge.” The amount of money that a player loses to the house is called his or her net loss. Casinos earn additional revenue from a number of sources, including a percentage of the total bets placed (“handle”) on each machine or table; a fee for dealers, called a “vig”; and comps given to players (food, drink, show tickets).

Due to the large amounts of currency handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To counter this, casinos have extensive security measures. Cameras are located throughout the casino, and employees monitor players to spot suspicious behavior. In addition, most tables have pit bosses and managers who supervise the action and look for betting patterns that indicate cheating. Advanced technology has helped casinos to improve their security measures as well; for example, some chips have built-in microcircuitry that allow the casino to monitor the exact amounts wagered minute by minute, and electronic systems are used to verify the integrity of roulette wheels.