What Is a Casino?



A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance can be played and where gambling is the primary activity. While elaborate hotels, restaurants, shopping centers and stage shows help attract patrons, casinos would not survive without the billions of dollars that bettors risk in hopes of winning.

Every game in a casino has an edge for the house, which is how casinos make money. This slight advantage can be lower than two percent, but over millions of bets it adds up and gives casinos enough money to build gleaming resorts, fountains, pyramids and replicas of famous landmarks.

Casinos also take steps to prevent cheating and theft, both by patrons and staff members. Security cameras are placed throughout the property and employees closely watch the casino patrons to spot any blatant violations such as palming cards, marking dice or switching betting patterns. Table managers and pit bosses have a broader view and look for patterns of behavior that could indicate collusion. Casinos also use chips instead of actual money to give gamblers the illusion that they aren’t dealing with real money and to help track how much is going in and out of the casinos.

While many people consider a casino to be an exotic location, there are plenty of places that allow casino gambling within a few hours’ drive of the majority of America’s population. From Atlantic City, New Jersey to Las Vegas, Nevada, to Indian reservations across the country and beyond, casinos are growing in popularity as more states legalize them.