What Is a Casino?


A casino, or gaming house, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. The casino industry varies widely around the world, and includes casinos in cities such as Las Vegas, Macau, and London, as well as those operated on cruise ships and on Indian reservations. In the United States, a casino is legally defined as any place where gambling is permitted.

Aside from the games of chance, many casinos also offer other forms of entertainment. Many feature night clubs, restaurants, bars, and even theaters. Some casinos host professional and amateur live sporting events, such as basketball games or boxing matches. The casinos of Las Vegas and Macau are famous worldwide for their luxurious accommodations, high-end restaurants, and breath-taking art installations, and have been featured in films such as Ocean’s 11.

Because of the large amounts of money handled by casino patrons, both the staff and the visitors may be tempted to cheat or steal. In order to prevent this, most casinos use a combination of technology and personnel to monitor the activities of their guests. For example, casino chips have microcircuitry that allows them to be tracked, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover anomalies in their results. Casinos employ specialist mathematicians and computer programmers called gaming mathematicians to analyze the game data and detect any suspicious behavior.

In addition to modern casino games, many of the larger casinos offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which was introduced to European and American casinos in the 1990s), fan-tan, and pai gow. Many of these are played in a very elegant setting, such as the Venetian Macau, which includes a canal with bridges and gondolas, over 350 shops, a live arena, Michelin-starred restaurants, and more than 800 gaming tables.