What Is a Casino?



A casino (also known as a gambling house) is a facility where people can gamble. These facilities usually have a variety of games of chance, but they may also offer live entertainment and dining.

How Casinos Make Money

Most of the profits raked in by casinos in the United States come from games of chance like slot machines, poker, blackjack and roulette. These games have a built in statistical edge for the casino, called the “house advantage” or “vig.”

Beatable and Unbeatable Game Types

There are several types of casino games ranging from simple to complex. These include card games such as blackjack, Pai Gow poker and tiles, pari-mutuel betting, video poker and slots.

The most popular and profitable form of gambling in the world, slot machines pay out a predetermined amount of money if the correct pattern is triggered by varying bands of colored shapes. Originally mechanical devices with reels of shapes spinning past, these machines are now controlled by computer chips that determine the payouts.

Gambling is a dangerous business, and casinos have spent a lot of time, money and effort to ensure the safety of their patrons. Modern casinos have elaborate surveillance systems, including high-tech cameras that watch every table and window at the same time.

A good security system prevents crime by identifying suspicious activity and focusing the casino’s resources on the most likely culprit. Casinos typically have a physical security force that patrols the premises and responds to calls for help. They work closely with a specialized surveillance department that runs the casino’s closed-circuit television system, or “eye in the sky.”