What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling. In addition to a variety of games, many casinos offer dining and entertainment options. The word casino is often associated with the idea of chance, although gambling can also involve skill. A casino may be built on land or at sea. It may be part of a hotel or a tourist attraction. It can be a standalone building or a room in a hotel or resort. Casinos are also found on Indian reservations, where state antigambling laws do not apply.

Most casino games give the house a mathematical advantage, which can be calculated in terms of expected value or vigorish. This is sometimes called the house edge, and it ensures that a casino will not lose money over a prolonged period of time. However, some games have a skill element, and players who are skilled enough to eliminate the house edge will make a short-term profit. These players are known as advantage players.

Given the large amounts of currency that are handled within a casino, security is important. The casino industry uses a combination of physical security forces and specialized surveillance departments to detect cheating or theft. Modern technology has dramatically increased the use of casino surveillance systems; for example, betting chips are designed with built-in microcircuitry to interact with computerized table monitoring systems that oversee the exact amount wagered minute by minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from their expected results; and closed circuit television is used extensively.