What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where gambling takes place. Often casinos include restaurants, shopping centers and other forms of entertainment but the vast majority of the entertainment (and profits for the owners) comes from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other games provide the billions in profit that casinos generate each year. Casinos may be massive resorts or small card rooms located in bars, truck stops and other venues. In some states, racetracks and other large facilities may also house casino-type games.

Something about the presence of large sums of money seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and scam their way into a jackpot, which is why casinos spend a large amount of time, effort and money on security. Casino employees are trained to watch for blatant cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards and dice. Security guards patrol the floor with a sharp eye, and table managers and pit bosses keep tabs on things that happen in the dark corners of the gaming area.

While the modern casino adds a host of luxury amenities, such as stage shows and dramatic scenery, casinos would not exist without gambling. Gambling is a game of chance, with the rules of each game ensuring that the house always has a mathematical advantage over the players, regardless of their skill level or how much they bet. The casinos make their money by taking a percentage of each bet, or raking. In addition, they offer big bettors extravagant inducements in the form of free spectacular entertainment and luxurious living quarters, and lesser bettors reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms.