What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where gamblers can play games of chance. Some casinos offer more than just gambling, however, with hotels, restaurants, non-gambling entertainment and even pools. These casinos are often called megacasinos, and they can be incredibly massive.

Something about the atmosphere of a casino seems to encourage cheating, stealing and scamming, so casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security. Casinos employ guards to watch over patrons and prevent such activities, as well as cameras and electronic systems that supervise games and ensure they are played fairly. For example, in a technique called chip tracking, the betting chips have built-in microcircuitry to interact with specialized systems that allow casinos to oversee each bet minute by minute and warn them of any anomaly; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover quickly any statistical deviation from their expected results. Casinos also use computer-driven, enclosed versions of table games that have no dealers but require players to push buttons to make bets.

As for the games themselves, most casinos have a mathematical advantage over patrons, although that edge can be as low as two percent. As a result, most casinos make their profit by charging a “vig” or “rake” on each bet, which is typically collected by the house or dealer. In some cases, the vig is a fixed percentage of a winning bet, while in others it is a proportional amount to the game’s minimum and maximum bet amounts.