What is a Casino?


A Casino is a gambling establishment that offers a wide variety of games and activities that depend on chance and in some cases involve some skill. It is also a place where people can find food, drinks and entertainment. Casinos often add elaborate luxuries to their facilities to attract customers and encourage them to gamble more, such as free drinks, stage shows and dramatic scenery.

Gambling probably predates recorded history, with primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites. However, the modern casino as a place where people could find a variety of ways to gamble under one roof did not develop until the 16th century.

Most casino games have a built in statistical advantage for the house, which can be as low as two percent or as high as 20 percent, depending on the game and how it is played. The casinos generate income from this edge, which is known as the vig or rake. Some casinos make additional money by offering complimentary items to gamblers, called comps.

Casinos are usually located in areas where tourism is a large economic factor, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City, but they can be found all over the world. They may also be based on Native American tribal lands, where casino gambling is legal. Economic studies indicate that for most communities, the net effect of a casino is negative, because it diverts spending from other forms of local entertainment and can exacerbate problem gambling. Something about the nature of gambling seems to encourage some patrons and employees to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. This is why most casinos have extensive security measures.