What Is a Casino?

Casino (plural casinos) is a gambling establishment offering games of chance. While hotels, restaurants, bars and other nongambling activities help attract customers to casinos, they would not exist without the billions in profits raked in by games of chance such as slots, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat.

Casinos employ a variety of security measures to protect patrons and their money. Some of the most obvious are cameras located throughout the casino. In addition, many casinos use electronic systems to monitor the games themselves. For example, betting chips with built-in microcircuitry can be monitored minute by minute; slot machines are electronically watched to detect any statistical deviation from expected payouts; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to ensure that they spin in a consistent manner.

Aside from these technologies, casinos also use rules of conduct and behavior to maintain a safe and fair environment for their customers. For example, casino patrons are usually required to keep their cards visible at all times while playing card games; and dealers in table games are not allowed to leave the game area during a hand.

Casinos typically target their marketing efforts toward high rollers. These are gamblers who place large bets and spend considerable time at the tables or machines, often for tens of thousands of dollars. Casinos offer them generous inducements in the form of free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and limo service. They also give lesser bettors complimentary food and drinks while gambling.