What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where gambling is legal and people enjoy games of chance. Modern casinos add luxuries like restaurants, spas and top-notch hotels to attract customers, but their core business is still the billions of dollars in profits they make from gambling. While many other things, like stage shows and elaborate themes, draw people into casinos, they would not exist without the games. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and other games provide the entertainment that drives people to gamble and lose large sums of money.

Gambling at casinos is based on mathematically determined odds and the house always has an advantage over patrons, known as the house edge. Casinos also generate substantial income from table games such as poker where patrons play against each other, and the casino takes a percentage of each pot or charges an hourly fee for each player. The popularity of these games has fueled the expansion of casinos.

Because of the large amount of money handled, casinos are vulnerable to fraud and theft by both staff and patrons. To prevent these problems, most casinos have a number of security measures in place, such as surveillance cameras and random auditing of game results. In addition, casino security officers are always on duty to patrol the gambling floor. These examples are automatically selected from various online sources, and may not be representative of the opinions of Merriam-Webster or its editors.