What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play games of chance and the winnings are based on random chance. The most common games are casino card games such as poker, blackjack and craps; table games like roulette and baccarat; and slot machines and video poker. Some casinos specialize in a particular game, while others offer a variety of games. Many casinos also offer a variety of other amenities such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows.

A typical casino has a built in advantage for the house in every game offered; this advantage may be very small (less than two percent) but it generates enough revenue over time to enable casinos to build huge hotels, fountains and replicas of pyramids and towers. The main source of income for a casino comes from gambling machines and, since the 1980s, from video poker. These machines are able to make large profits due to high volume and rapid play at sums from five cents to a dollar or more.

Because there is a lot of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff are tempted to cheat or steal. To prevent this, casinos invest a great deal of money in security measures. These include cameras that cover the entire casino floor, with the ability to focus on specific suspicious patrons; and high tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance systems that allow security personnel to monitor everything that is happening in a casino through a bank of screens.