Casino: A large building where people gamble and play games of chance. Casinos also offer a variety of perks for their patrons, such as free shows and meals. The most famous casino is probably Las Vegas, but there are also casinos in other cities around the world.
A casino makes money by giving its patrons a small statistical edge over the house in the games they play. The edge may be only a few percent, but it adds up over the billions of dollars that patrons bet every year. The casino earns this advantage by taking a percentage of each bet, called the vig or rake. This allows the casino to stay in business even if a few of its patrons are losing bettors.
To increase their profits, casinos offer a variety of amenities to attract and keep customers. These include free or discounted entertainment, rooms, meals and transportation. Casinos also employ security systems to prevent cheating and other crimes. For example, in a casino with high-tech surveillance systems, cameras have a “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results.
Casinos compete not just with each other but with non-gambling resorts, on-line gambling, private gambling and an illegal gambling industry much larger than the legal one. As a result, some casinos lose money and go bankrupt, but others succeed and make huge sums of money.