What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance, or on games that require a high degree of skill, such as blackjack and video poker. Most casinos offer a wide variety of gambling games and are equipped with sophisticated security measures. Casinos also provide food and drinks, which is often free to players.

Most casino games have a built in statistical advantage for the house, known as the house edge. This advantage can be small, lower than two percent, but over time it can add up. The house edge is the primary source of revenue for the casino. In addition, some casinos make money by charging a “vig,” or a commission, on bets placed by players. Casinos also earn money from comps, or complimentary items, given to frequent players.

Casinos are a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. Many have restaurants and bars, and some even have night clubs. Some casinos have water shows, giant pyramids, towers, or replicas of famous landmarks. Casinos compete with each other to attract customers by advertising their amenities and offering a variety of promotions and bonuses.

Casinos often employ a large number of security personnel. They may have a physical security force that patrols the casino floor and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, and a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system. Some casinos also have catwalks in the ceiling above the gaming tables and slot machines, allowing surveillance officers to look directly down on the activities taking place below.