What Is a Casino?


A casino is a special establishment where gambling entertainment can be enjoyed. Gambling games such as craps, roulette, baccarat, blackjack and video poker are played in casinos. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants and other attractions such as stage shows and dramatic scenery. Casinos are found around the world.

Some casinos are huge complexes containing thousands of slot machines and table games. Others are much smaller and more intimate. Many casinos have a restaurant, bar and retail shops. There are also casinos that operate on cruise ships and in countries where land-based casinos are illegal. Casinos earn billions of dollars each year for owners, investors and the companies that run them. They are also a source of income for the states, cities and Native American tribes that own them.

Most casino games have a built-in advantage for the house, which is called the “house edge.” The house edge is determined by mathematics and can’t be changed. It is therefore very rare for a casino to lose money over time. This gives the casino a virtual assurance of gross profit, which is why it can afford to offer big bettors extravagant inducements in the form of free spectacular entertainment, elegant living quarters and reduced-fare transportation.

Casinos use bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings, which stimulate the senses of gamblers and keep them from thinking about the fact that they’re losing money. They also don’t have clocks on the walls because they want gamblers to forget about the passing of time. Security staff watch patrons for suspicious behavior with cameras that can be adjusted to focus on specific tables or window and doorways.

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