What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. These establishments are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They allow patrons to exchange money for chips that can be used to play games like poker, roulette, and blackjack. Some casinos also offer live entertainment shows.


Caesars Palace in Las Vegas is probably the world’s most famous casino, but it’s not the only one. Others that have made an indelible mark on the gaming industry include Monte-Carlo’s Casino de Monaco, which opened in 1863, and the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal.

The Casino de Monte-Carlo is a popular destination for celebrities and royalty, thanks to its luxury accommodations and breathtaking fountain show. Its 200,000-gallon shark aquarium is another must-see feature. And its Ice Bar offers a respite from the Nevada heat with martinis and a view of the shark tank.

Casinos typically have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house has at all times an advantage over players, unless they are using advanced strategies such as card counting. This advantage is known as the house edge or expected value, and it’s calculated for each game by computer programmers and mathematicians who specialize in the field of casino analysis. The house advantage is usually higher for games of chance than for those requiring some level of skill, such as blackjack and video poker.

Aside from gambling, casinos are often used for other purposes, such as concerts and stand-up comedy. They are also known as a gathering place for families, friends, and colleagues. They can be found in cities around the globe, from glamorous destinations such as Vegas to more exotic locales, like Venice, Monaco, and Singapore.