What Is a Casino?


A Casino is an establishment that allows patrons to gamble on games of chance. These games typically include roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and video poker. Most casino games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house a constant advantage, sometimes called the “house edge.” Casinos often earn profit from the games by charging an admission fee or taking a commission on winning wagers. Casinos also reward high-volume players with free or reduced-fare entertainment, food and drinks and hotel rooms.

Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, with the vast majority of the entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes help draw in the crowds, but casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits that are generated by slot machines, black jack, roulette, baccarat, keno and more.

Casinos are protected by various security measures. Most casino floors have cameras that monitor the action for blatant cheating or suspicious betting patterns. In addition, table managers and pit bosses oversee the game play with a broader scope, making sure dealers are not palming cards or marking dice; and that players at card games keep their hands visible at all times.

Despite their protections, many casinos have been associated with organized crime. Mobster involvement in a casino usually leads to federal raids and forfeitures of gaming licenses. Even so, a few mobster families still control large casinos.