What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where customers gamble by playing games of chance. These include slot machines, roulette, baccarat, blackjack and poker.

Most casinos accept bets within an established limit, ensuring that every game offers a mathematically determined expected value. This gives the house an advantage, called the house edge, which in turn allows casinos to rake in billions of dollars in profits.

In addition to the gaming tables, a casino usually also has a non-gambling area that includes restaurants and other amenities for its patrons. These attractions often draw visitors in purely for entertainment, but the majority of money a casino makes comes from the gaming itself.

Guests who make large bets or spend long hours at the slot machines are typically offered free hotel rooms, dinners, tickets to shows and other complimentary items that are referred to as comps. This is a good idea, because it encourages them to continue to come back.

Security and safety are of utmost importance at a casino, so elaborate surveillance systems are used. Cameras are installed in the ceiling above the casino floor and change windows and doorways to give surveillance personnel a “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino.

Some casinos have catwalks over the slot and table floors, which allow surveillance personnel to view the activity at the slot machines and tables directly through one-way glass. This is a very useful feature, since it helps prevent cheating or theft. Other casinos use sophisticated video monitoring and recording equipment to track the activities of their customers in real time.