What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility where people can gamble on games of chance and in some cases, skill. A casino’s gambling activities are regulated by law, and its customers must be 21 or older. In the United States, casinos are typically large, commercial enterprises that offer a wide variety of gambling products and services. Casinos also have a strong focus on customer service and provide perks designed to encourage gamblers to spend more money, such as complimentary items (complimentaries) and free shows.

Table games are conducted by dealers and can be played against the house or against other players. They include poker, blackjack, roulette, and craps. The games are governed by mathematical rules that ensure the house always has an advantage over the players. This advantage is called the house edge. In poker and other card games, the house takes a commission from each bet, known as the rake.

Modern casinos typically have a security department that patrols the premises and responds to calls for assistance or definite signs of criminal activity. In addition, the facility may have a closed circuit television system that monitors all activities in and around the casino, often referred to as the eye in the sky.

Some casinos specialize in particular types of gaming, such as Asian games like sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow. Others offer a mix of games, including traditional and video slots and poker. Some casinos even host tournaments where gamblers compete against one another in the same room. These events are a way for the casino to expand its market reach and increase its potential profits.