What is a Casino?


Casino, meaning “gambling house,” refers to establishments where people can place wagers on games of chance. While gambling has existed in many forms throughout history, the modern casino is usually a complex facility attached to luxury food and entertainment venues. Some casinos offer a wide variety of games of chance, while others specialize in certain types of gaming such as blackjack or poker. Many casinos use cameras to ensure the honesty of players and enforce rules that discourage cheating or theft.

Although some casino patrons are compulsive gamblers, most simply visit casinos to play their favorite games of chance for fun and enjoyment. The popularity of these games—such as roulette, baccarat, craps, slot machines and card games—helps generate billions in profits for casinos each year. Unlike other types of entertainment, which may provide an escape from daily life and stress, the gambling experience can be harmful to one’s health, leading to addiction or even suicide.

While some casinos add luxurious features such as lighted fountains, stage shows and elaborate themes to draw in customers, they would not exist without the games of chance themselves. Every game has a mathematical expectation that guarantees the casino an advantage over the players, or, as it is more precisely known, the house edge. The advantage is less obvious in games such as roulette that appeal to smaller bettors and have a lower house edge, but it is present in all other casino games.