What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where gamblers can play a wide variety of games, usually for real money. These include slots, keno, roulette, blackjack, poker and more.


Modern casinos employ a combination of physical security and specialized surveillance. The latter includes sophisticated cameras in the ceiling and changing window and doorways to keep an eye on all patrons as they enter or exit. The cameras are also set to record and replay footage.


Casinos offer free goods and services to “good” players. These can include hotel rooms, dinners, tickets to shows and even limo service. The good player is defined by how much they spend and the stakes they place on slot machines.

Gambling History

Wagering and gambling have been an important part of many cultures for centuries. The first official gambling hall in Europe was opened in 1638 at the church of San Moise in Venice.

Gambling has become one of the most lucrative industries in the world, with over 1,000 casinos operating in the United States and 40 other countries. Besides offering entertainment and a chance to win big, casinos can provide a source of income for local governments by creating jobs and generating tax revenues.

House Edges

The most popular casino games in the world are baccarat (in the French version of chemin de fer) and roulette. American casinos have reduced their house edges to less than one percent in an effort to attract large bettors, while European casinos charge a higher percentage.