What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where people pay money to play games of chance or skill. Most casinos have a mathematical advantage over the players, which is referred to as the house edge. This gives the casino a virtual guarantee of gross profit, and allows it to offer big bettors extravagant inducements. These may include free spectacular entertainment, limousines and luxury living quarters. Casinos also make a significant portion of their profits from patrons’ aggregate losses during a stay.

Most casinos have a distinctive atmosphere designed around noise, light and excitement. The casino floor usually contains many tables at which small groups play various games. Excited gamblers shout encouragement to each other and the staff tries to create a partylike atmosphere. Alcoholic drinks are readily accessible and delivered to gamblers by waiters circulating throughout the casino. Nonalcoholic drinks and snacks are also available. Casinos also focus on customer service and provide a variety of perks designed to encourage gamblers to spend more, including “comps,” or complimentary items.

Security is a major consideration in casino operations. Most casinos have multiple layers of security to prevent tampering and cheating. On the gaming floors, employees keep their eyes on the games and the players to ensure that the rules are followed. Pit bosses and table managers monitor the tables with a broader perspective, making sure patrons are not stealing chips or otherwise violating game rules. Video cameras are frequently used to supervise the games from a central location, and electronic systems allow casinos to keep track of the exact amounts being wagered minute by minute and to immediately detect any statistical anomaly.