What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. They may also feature live entertainment such as concerts and stand-up comedy. In some jurisdictions, casinos are licensed and regulated by government agencies. In the United States, most casinos are operated by private businesses. Some are owned by local governments, while others are owned by international organizations such as the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, casinos have extensive security measures. Security cameras located throughout the facility are one such measure.

The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden became a playground for royalty and the European aristocracy 150 years ago, and its red-and-gold casino is among the world’s finest. It was even featured in the 2001 film Ocean’s Eleven. Other fine examples include the palatial Casino de Montreal and the ultra-modern Marina Bay Sands resort and casino in Singapore.

Most casinos offer a variety of games, including roulette, blackjack, and poker. The games have varying house edges, and the mathematical expectation of winning is determined by a combination of the game’s rules and the players’ skill. Some casinos offer a “basic strategy” that gives an optimal play for each hand, while others allow players to make decisions that affect the game’s outcome. The mathematics of these decisions are beyond the scope of this article, but gaming mathematicians and computer programmers specialize in this field.