What Is a Casino?


A casino (or gaming house) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Most casinos offer a variety of casino games, including gaming machines and table games. Some casinos also feature restaurants, bars, and retail shopping. Some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy shows and concerts. In the United States, casinos are usually combined with hotels or resorts and are sometimes located on or near military bases.

Elaborate security systems are in place for patrons’ protection. Casinos have cameras that watch the gaming floor and surrounding areas. These are monitored by casino security personnel who can adjust their focus to zero in on suspicious patrons. In addition, some casinos use advanced technology to monitor specific casino games for abnormalities. For example, a “chip tracking” system allows casino staff to monitor exactly how much money is being wagered on each game minute by minute and alert them immediately to any deviation from the expected outcome. Roulette wheels are electronically scanned to spot any anomalies.

Table games such as blackjack, baccarat, and trente et quarante are standard in most casinos. Some casinos also offer Asian-style table games, such as sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow poker. Video poker is a popular casino game and has a high payout percentage. Most table games have a mathematical expectation of losing, but the house does make a profit in the long run through commissions, or rakes, taken from bettors. Casinos typically offer comps (free goods or services) to high bettors to encourage them to play. These may include free rooms, show tickets, meals, limo service, and reduced-fare transportation.