What Is a Casino?


A casino is a public place where a wide variety of games of chance are played for money. Although gambling may predate recorded history, the casino as a place where a multitude of gambling activities are housed under one roof did not develop until the 16th century, during a period when gambling crazes swept Europe. Casinos typically earn money by charging an edge for each game played. This edge is often lower than two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed by casino patrons. Other revenue streams come from restaurants and the rake (a small percentage of each poker pot) that casinos collect from players.

Because large sums of money are handled in casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. For this reason, casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security. Security cameras are located throughout the facility and personnel are trained to detect suspicious behavior. Casinos also enforce rules and regulations that prohibit certain types of gambling.

While gambling is a popular pastime, many people do not feel comfortable in the casino atmosphere. The noise, lights and activity can be overwhelming for some people, and some casinos are designed to create a more soothing environment. A few casinos cater to non-gambling visitors with a variety of amenities such as spas and fine dining.