What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. They may also have restaurants, bars and stage shows. Casinos can be found in countries around the world and are often combined with hotels, resorts and other tourist attractions.

Gambling is a popular pastime in many parts of the world and casinos are designed to appeal to all types of patrons, from the curious tourist to the snazzy high roller. While most casinos offer a wide variety of games, some specialize in specific regional fare. For example, Asian casinos often feature traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which spread to several European and American casinos during the 1990s), fan-tan and pai-gow.

Because of the large amount of money handled within, casinos have to take a lot of precautions against cheating and theft. Security personnel patrol the floor and watch the games, keeping a sharp eye out for blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards or dice. Table managers and pit bosses are also trained to watch for betting patterns that might indicate a patron is trying to steal. More subtle is the use of cameras throughout a casino, with security staff in a room filled with banks of monitors able to direct them to focus on specific tables or patrons.

Casinos are expensive to run, and their built in statistical advantage earns them a significant profit over the millions of dollars in bets placed by their patrons. This profit helps finance the elaborate buildings, fountains, pyramids and towers that are the hallmark of some of the world’s most famous casinos.