What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling hall or a gaming house, is a place where people play games of chance or skill for money or other prizes. The games that are played in casinos are usually governed by strict rules and procedures. For example, the shuffle and deal of cards are strictly monitored, and roulette wheels are regularly observed to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results. Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or independently; therefore, most casinos have extensive security measures. Security personnel patrol the floor, and video cameras are everywhere to monitor game activities. In addition, many casinos have regular shows that can attract crowds, which also serve to deter crime.

Casinos are often viewed as glamorous, exciting places where luck and fortune can be made or lost in an instant. They draw in visitors with opulent furnishings and amenities, and they are famous for their dazzling lights and spectacular stage shows. Some are even shaped like giant pyramids or temples, such as the casino in the resort town of Baden-Baden, which was once a playground for European royalty and aristocracy.

Despite the glamorous images of casino gambling, most gamblers lose money. This is because most casino games have built-in advantages for the house, which are calculated by mathematicians and computer programmers who work in the field of gaming analysis. These mathematical calculations are used to determine the house edge and variance for each casino game, which help managers plan and budget.