What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where people can play gambling games. It is also a facility where entertainment is provided, such as concerts and shows. Casinos are often located near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops and cruise ships. In some countries, casinos are regulated by law.

Most casino games are based on chance, although some involve skill. The house always has a mathematical advantage over the players, which is called the house edge (or expectation). In games with an element of skill, such as blackjack and video poker, the house’s edge can be reduced by using basic strategy.

The modern casino industry is dominated by Las Vegas, which is home to the world’s largest concentration of casino resorts. Other major gaming destinations include Atlantic City, New Jersey; Macau, China; and Singapore. Casinos are usually located in cities with large populations, and serve as tourist attractions for visitors from the surrounding area.

Something about the glitz and glamour of casino gambling seems to encourage cheating, stealing and scamming. That’s why casinos spend a lot of time, effort and money on security.

A modern casino may have a dedicated physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The latter may use closed circuit television and other sophisticated systems to monitor the casino. Despite these efforts, some incidents still occur. Occasionally, organized crime figures get involved in casino operations. Their money helps finance expansion and renovation, but they sometimes take over the management and even ownership of some casinos.