What is a Casino?

A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. It is also the name for a company that runs such a place. The term is derived from the Latin word casus, meaning “house.” The modern casino is much like an indoor amusement park for adults, with most of the entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from gambling. Slot machines, roulette, craps, baccarat and blackjack are the most popular casino games.

Casinos make money by taking a small percentage of all bets, called the house edge. It can be as low as two percent for some games, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed by patrons. Casinos often make additional income by selling drinks, snacks and cigarettes and by operating restaurants and hotels.

Modern casinos are heavily guarded against cheating and stealing, both by patrons and employees. Security departments usually consist of a physical force and a specialized surveillance department that operates closed circuit television.

Something about the glitz, glamor and large sums of money in casinos seems to encourage people to try to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, casino security is a major concern. In addition to the physical security force, most casinos have a system of electronic sensors that monitor all activities in and around the casino. The sensors are linked to a network that can detect and record any suspicious activity. In addition, many casinos offer a variety of loyalty programs similar to airline frequent flyer programs in which gamblers can exchange points for free or discounted entertainment, food, drink or hotel rooms.