What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building that houses games of chance and gambling activities. It may add other luxuries to lure gamblers, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows, but it is essentially a place where people bet against the house. The gambling activities that take place in casinos are usually regulated by law or private contracts. Casinos are able to make money from the games they offer because every game has a built-in advantage for the casino that can range from a few percent to as much as two hundred percent, depending on how it is played and other factors.

Most casinos employ extensive security measures to prevent cheating or stealing. These include cameras in the ceiling that provide a high-tech “eye in the sky” and allow security personnel to watch every table, change window, and doorway at once. Some casinos also have elaborate systems that monitor individual betting chips with microcircuitry to see how they are being placed minute-by-minute, and they monitor roulette wheels to discover any statistical deviation from the expected results.

Despite the added security, many patrons are still tempted to cheat or steal. This can occur in collusion with other patrons or independently. Regardless, the large amounts of money that pass through a casino make it difficult to cheat or steal without getting caught. The casino edge earned from each game provides a virtual assurance of gross profit, so it is very rare for a casino to lose money in a single day, even if all of its bettors win.