What Is a Casino?


A casino is a large building where gambling games are played. It may include a variety of other activities such as restaurants, bars and nongambling games rooms, but the main reason to visit one is to play gambling games. The largest casinos are located in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, although they are now spreading to other areas of the United States. Some American Indian reservations also have casinos.

A major attraction of casinos is their size and opulence. Some are designed to be reminiscent of ancient Roman and Greek palaces, while others have a tropical theme or other exotic locales. Aside from gambling, they offer a wide variety of entertainment options such as live performances, theatre and even shopping. Many of them have lavish exteriors that add to their glamour, and some have been featured in popular movies such as Ocean’s 11.

While people do win at gambling occasionally, the odds are that the house will win in the long run. This is because casinos have a built-in advantage in the form of mathematical expectancy, and it is extremely rare for a casino to lose money on any game for a single day.

Because so much money is involved, there are a number of security measures in place at casinos. There is a risk that both patrons and employees will try to cheat or steal, so casinos have to spend a lot of time and money on security. In addition to the usual personnel and surveillance equipment, some casinos have electronic systems that monitor betting chips minute-by-minute and alert guards to any statistical deviations; and some have automated roulette wheels that allow players to bet by pushing buttons rather than dealing with a dealer.