What is a Casino?


Casino is a gambling establishment with tables and slot machines. It also offers non-gambling games, restaurants, hotels and other amenities. Some of the most famous casinos are in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but there are many more around the world. Some are massive, with impressive size and decor, while others are small and intimate. They have a variety of games, but they all have the same goal: to attract and keep gamblers.

While lighted fountains, musical shows and lavish hotels help lure visitors, casinos would not exist without the games of chance. Slots, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and poker make up the majority of the billions in profits that U.S. casinos rake in each year.

In addition to the usual table and slot games, many casinos offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which came to Europe in the 1990s) and fan-tan. Occasionally, these Asian games are replaced by local favorites such as two-up in Australia, banca francesa in Portugal and boule in France.

There is one certainty when it comes to gambling: The house always wins. Every game has a built-in advantage that allows the casino to collect more bets than it will lose. This advantage, known as the house edge, makes it very rare for a gambler to win more than he or she wagers in one day.

Because of the high amount of money handled, both patrons and employees may try to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently; however, these attempts are typically prevented by security measures. These include cameras and the use of specialized chips to track player bets. Some casinos have gone further, instituting “chip tracking” systems and electronically monitoring roulette wheels to discover any statistical deviation from expected results.