What is a Casino?


The Casino is an establishment where gamblers can play various games of chance. It may also contain entertainment features such as bars, restaurants and live performances. The largest casinos in the United States are located in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos are regulated by the state in which they operate. Some are owned by municipalities and operated by private companies, while others are franchises of international chains.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent this, many casinos have security measures in place. The most basic is the use of security cameras throughout the facility. Other more sophisticated measures include using specialized chip tracking systems to monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute and alert staff when there is an anomaly; or employing electronic monitoring of roulette wheels to discover any deviations from their expected statistical results.

Most casinos offer a variety of table and slot machine games, with blackjack, poker and craps among the most popular. Slot machines are the economic backbone of American casinos, generating income via high volume, rapid play at sums ranging from five cents to a dollar. The percentages of money returned to players, known as the house edge, vary depending on the game and its rules. In games with a skill element, such as blackjack, the house edge is reduced to less than 1 percent by applying optimal strategy.