What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. It’s not just slot machines and blackjack—though these do provide the majority of the billions of dollars that casinos rake in each year. Other games include craps, keno, roulette, and more. Some are run by live dealers while others are electronic. In either case, the games are designed to be fun and exciting—but ultimately profitable for the casino.

Aside from the gambling, casinos offer other amenities such as restaurants and shopping. They also have security measures in place to prevent cheating and theft, whether collusion or independent of it. Because large amounts of money are handled inside, cameras and other electronic systems are often used to monitor the premises. Casinos may also use chips instead of cash to make it less tempting for patrons to try to sneak money out, and they often put ATMs on the premises, although states regulate how many can be placed and how visible they must be.

Something about gambling seems to encourage people to try to cheat or steal, and casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security. Some of the measures are more obvious than others; for example, casino employees keep a close eye on players at table games to spot suspicious betting patterns or attempts to palm cards or dice. Other security measures include video cameras and electronic monitoring of tables—including the specialized systems that allow casinos to track exact amount bet minute by minute, and warn them of any statistical deviation from expected values.