What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other tourist attractions. In the United States, casinos are typically licensed by state governments and operated by private companies. They may also be owned by local governmental agencies or charitable organizations. Some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment, such as musical performances or stand-up comedy.

Casinos make money from the games that patrons play, and the house always has a small advantage over players. That edge can be as low as two percent or as high as 20 percent, depending on the game and the rules. In addition to the vig, casinos earn money from table minimum bets, cigarette and beverage sales and the fees paid by slot machine players to change coins or tokens for cash.

Regardless of the games, a casino relies on its staff to keep patrons happy and prevent criminal activity. Security is usually split between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The latter has a “eye-in-the-sky” system that can watch every table, window and doorway at once. The cameras are adjusted by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of security monitors, and they can be focused on specific patrons by name.

Casinos take many steps to attract and keep customers, from free food and drinks to lighted fountain shows and luxurious accommodations. They even give comps to frequent gamblers, who can receive everything from free hotel rooms and dinners to show tickets and limo service.

Posted in: Gambling