What Is a Casino?


A Casino is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. Modern casinos may feature musical shows, shopping centers and lavish hotels, but they would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits raked in each year by the gambling machines, card tables and other games of chance that fill them. Casinos attract customers from across the country with their elaborate themes and glitzy attractions, but they also attract those who want to try their hand at the games of chance.

Most casinos are staffed by employees who oversee the various gambling activities and keep an eye out for cheating and theft. The most obvious security measure is cameras located throughout the casino and able to be directed to focus on suspicious patrons by casino workers in a room filled with banks of video monitors. In addition to security cameras, many casinos also have other forms of surveillance equipment.

Table games and slot machines make up most of the profits in a casino, with the tables offering a wider variety of betting options than most slot machines. Roulette draws big bettors and requires a low house advantage of less than 1 percent, while craps is popular with bettors who like to roll the dice.

Other games of chance at a casino include blackjack, poker and video slots. In the past, organized crime figures poured money into casinos in Nevada, giving them their seamy image. But legitimate investors and hotel chains soon realized the potential profits of the business, and mob involvement in casinos waned as a result of federal crackdowns and a fear of losing their gambling licenses. Casinos have expanded from Las Vegas to Atlantic City and beyond, including locations on American Indian reservations that are not subject to state antigambling laws.