What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where people can place bets on games of chance and/or skill. Its employees, whether dealers, managers or security guards, keep an eye on the patrons and games to make sure nothing goes wrong. In modern casinos, the floor is wired to a computer that tracks every bet and game played. Any statistical deviation from the norm catches the attention of high-level management.

Most casinos offer table games and slot machines with mathematically determined odds that give the house an edge over players. Some games are banked, while others are not (such as poker or keno). Most of these games require some level of skill; the difference between the house edge and player expectation is called the “house edge.” The casino takes a cut from each game, usually a percentage of the total amount wagered.

Casinos earn billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also hurt property values in neighboring communities and can be a major drain on local governments’ coffers.

Some casinos have a reputation for luxury and sophistication, while others are known for their outrageously gaudy decor. Many feature a variety of restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. While some of these extras may lure gamblers, they do not reduce the house edge. One of the main reasons for this is that the money used to bet in a casino is not actual cash, but chips that look like real money but have no value outside of the casino.

Posted in: Gambling