What is a Casino?

A casino, or gaming house, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Modern casinos are generally large, glitzy and heavily themed, with brightly colored lighting, loud music, and a wide variety of games on offer. They may also contain shopping, entertainment and dining options. Many states have legalized casino gambling, although some have not.

Aside from the traditional table and slot machines, most casinos feature a variety of card games and roulette. Roulette, a favorite of big bettors, is commonly available in American casinos, as are blackjack and the French game trente et quarante (better known as chemin de fer). Card games that pit patrons against one another rather than the house include poker and various variants of baccarat.

In addition to gambling, some casinos host live entertainment. This can be in the form of a band or comedian, or it might be a sports event or other special attraction. Some casinos are also renowned for their restaurants, with world-class chefs and extensive wine lists.

Because of the high amounts of money handled within, casinos are prone to cheating and theft by both staff and patrons. To combat these problems, most casinos employ a number of security measures. These range from cameras to sophisticated electronic surveillance systems. Some casinos use chips with built-in microcircuitry to monitor betting patterns minute by minute, and some have specially designed roulette wheels that are monitored electronically to discover any abnormalities. This type of analysis is usually performed by a team of mathematicians or computer programmers called gaming mathematicians or analysts.