What is a Casino?



A casino is an establishment that offers gambling. It may also offer other entertainment such as concerts, comedy shows, and sports events. Casinos can be found in cities and towns throughout the world and are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, and other tourist attractions.

Every casino game has a built in mathematical advantage for the house, which can be as low as two percent or as high as six percent. This small edge is what makes casinos profitable and allows them to afford lavish inducements for big bettors, such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury hotel rooms, transportation, and elegant living quarters. Casinos also make money by taking a percentage of all money wagered on slot machines and video poker games, which are played with computer chips instead of live dealers.

The casino industry is highly regulated and heavily audited to prevent cheating and fraud. Security personnel monitor patrons by using cameras, some of which have a high-tech eye-in-the-sky feature that lets casino employees watch tables, windows, and doorways from a control room filled with banks of monitors. Most American casinos are supervised by state gaming control boards and some have regional or national trade associations that advocate for their interests.

In the 1990s casinos expanded beyond their traditional Las Vegas gambling locations into Atlantic City and other resort destinations. They also began appearing on Native American reservations, which are exempt from most state antigambling laws. The casinos’ expansion was spurred by the realization that many tourists visit the casinos specifically because of their gambling and other entertainment opportunities.