What Is a Casino?


A casino (from Italian; meaning “house of chance”) is a building or facility for gambling. Some casinos are large resorts with hotels, restaurants, and retail shopping; others are small card rooms.

Gambling is a popular form of entertainment and has been seen in most societies since ancient times. However, some cultures have banned gambling in public places, such as the United States and some European nations.

There are many types of games at a casino, including card games, dice games, domino games, slot machines, and gambling devices such as the roulette wheel. Some of these games are banked, where the house has a stake in the outcome of the game and takes a cut of the bets made by the players.

The most common games at a casino are blackjack, baccarat, and poker. American players especially love to gamble on these games, and they are available in land-based and online casinos across the country.

Security in Casinos

Modern casinos are equipped with both a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The physical security force patrols the casino floor and responds to calls for assistance, while the specialized surveillance department monitors activities through closed-circuit television.

Often, casino security officers work with other police departments in the area to ensure that there are no problems. This type of multi-layered security is very effective and has led to a low incidence of criminal activity at casinos.

Casinos focus on customer service, offering perks such as free shows and discounted meals to encourage gamblers to visit and spend money. These perks are known as “comps” and are similar to airline frequent-flyer programs.