What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling games. Casinos are large and can contain many slot machines, table games, and other betting options. They may also feature restaurants and bars. Casinos generate billions of dollars in revenue for the corporations, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. State and local governments also reap tax revenues from casinos.

Modern casinos use a variety of tricks to lure patrons into gambling and keep them there. Lights, sound, and smells are used to create a mood of excitement and luxury. Over 15,000 miles of neon tubing is used to illuminate the buildings that make up the Las Vegas strip. Alcoholic drinks are available at all times and waiters circulate to serve them. Nonalcoholic drinks and snacks are sometimes provided free of charge. Gamblers are encouraged to interact with each other by shouting encouragement or by chatting with fellow players. There is usually a hostess at the entrance to greet and seat guests.

The games in a casino are generally based on chance with some elements of skill. The house always has a mathematical advantage over the patrons, which is known as the house edge or expected value. The house edge is especially pronounced in games of chance, such as blackjack, roulette, and video poker. In games where players compete against each other, such as poker and craps, the house takes a cut of the pot called the rake.

Security in a casino is often divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The casino’s surveillance department uses cameras and monitors to watch over the activities of the patrons. Some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling, which allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one way glass, on the activities at the tables and slot machines.