What is a Casino?


In the casino, guests gamble using games of chance (or sometimes skill) and the house has a built in advantage that can be small (lower than two percent) but is sufficient to generate billions in profits for casinos each year. This advantage can be expressed mathematically as the expected value of a given game or, in games like poker where players compete against each other, by taking a percentage of funds bet called the rake.

Casinos are found around the world and attract large numbers of visitors. In the United States, the most famous are in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. However, casinos also operate in many other cities and states and on American Indian reservations.

There is something about gambling that encourages people to cheat and steal, either in collusion with others or independently. This is why casinos spend a lot of money and effort on security. Casinos use cameras, patrols and other methods to deter and catch criminals.

Besides security, casinos focus on customer service. They offer perks like free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets to ‘good’ players. This is known as comping.

The most popular casino games are slot machines, followed by card games such as blackjack and baccarat. Other popular games include video poker and keno. A casino’s layout and decorations often reflect the themed environment, for example a Venetian-style gondola ride or a casino in a Parisian style building. Some casinos are devoted to a particular sport, such as hockey or horse racing.