What Is a Casino?

A casino (or gambling house) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Most casinos are built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops and/or cruise ships. In the United States, about 51 million people visited a casino in 2002, which is equivalent to nearly a quarter of the country’s population over 21. The number is expected to rise substantially in the coming years as legalization of gaming continues across the nation.

Security is a major issue for casinos, because of the large amounts of money handled within them. Patrons may try to cheat or steal, either in collusion with staff or independently; for this reason, all casinos have some form of surveillance system. Generally, cameras are located throughout the casino and can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons. Some casinos have more elaborate surveillance systems, with a “high-tech eye-in-the-sky” that can watch every table, window and doorway at once.

Most casino games involve some element of skill, but the house always has a mathematical advantage over players; this is known as the “house edge”. In poker and other table games where players compete against each other, the casino takes a percentage of all wagers made, which is called the rake. Casinos also employ mathematicians to work out the house edges and variances of their various games.

Casinos often give out complimentary items to gamblers; these are referred to as comps. For example, a player might get free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows. Some casinos will even offer limo service or airline tickets to frequent players.

Previous post What Is a Slot Machine?
Next post Online Gambling and Its Psychological and Emotional Consequences