What is a Casino?


A Casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance can be played. It can be as simple as a public building with a variety of slot machines or it could be as elaborate as the world-famous Las Vegas mega-resorts with dining options, stage shows and other attractions. While gambling probably predates recorded history (with primitive protodice and carved six-sided dice found at archeological sites), the modern idea of a casino as a central source for many different gambling activities didn’t develop until the 16th century.

Casinos spend a large amount of money and effort on security. They typically have a dedicated physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that operates a closed circuit television system known as the “eye in the sky.”

While some casinos offer only one game of chance, most feature a wide range. Casinos in America rely heavily on slots and video poker, which provide the bulk of their revenue. They also feature table games such as roulette and craps, which are popular with big bettors and have a house edge of 1.4% or less. Other games include blackjack, poker and baccarat. Many casinos also feature Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.

Casino employees can spot a lot of cheating by simply watching the way patrons play the games. They can easily detect blatant acts such as palming or marking cards. But they must also look for patterns in the betting behavior of patrons. They also use the same kind of technology to supervise individual games, such as electronic monitoring of roulette wheels to discover any statistical deviations from expected results.