What is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. The games that can be played in casinos include slot machines, roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat, and poker. Casinos are a popular source of entertainment and generate billions of dollars in profits for their owners each year. This article looks at the history of casinos, how they make their money, the games that are played there, and the dark side of this business.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and elaborate hotels help draw in the crowds, casinos exist to profit from the play of games of chance. The games that people bet on, such as roulette, baccarat and blackjack, allow them to place wagers against the house, and are often conducted by croupiers or dealers who enable the game and manage payments. Casinos also offer table games that pit players against each other, such as standard poker.

In general, casino patrons must place their bets within an established limit, and it is rare for a single player to win more than the house can afford to pay. However, some games have built-in advantages that ensure the house will always be the winner, such as the “house edge” on blackjack and the vig on craps.

Because of the large amount of currency handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; as such, most casinos invest a significant amount of time and money into security measures. The most basic of these are cameras and other surveillance equipment, although casino employees also enforce rules of conduct and behavior in order to prevent such activities.