What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house or a kasino (Spanish and Latin for officers’ mess), is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and/or cruise ships. They are also a frequent feature of resorts, theme parks and vacation destinations.

While lighted fountains, musical shows and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, casinos rely on games of chance to generate the billions in profits that they bring in each year. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, baccarat and other table games provide the lion’s share of the revenue.

The modern casino is a complex facility that has a wide range of security measures built in. Besides the obvious surveillance cameras, some have catwalks in the ceiling above the gaming floor that allow security personnel to look directly down through one-way glass at the activities on the tables and slots. Other security features include specially designed betting chips that have built-in microcircuitry and can be tracked minute by minute; electronic systems that monitor and control roulette wheels to discover any deviation from their expected outcomes; and fully automated versions of classic casino games like baccarat and blackjack, where the players place their bets through push buttons.

Casinos are a major source of employment worldwide, especially in Las Vegas and Macau. They employ a large number of workers, and many are high-wage jobs with good benefits. They also depend on non-gambling income to offset the cost of running the facilities. In addition to casino gambling, some casinos offer other forms of entertainment such as live music and stage shows.