What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building that houses gambling activities. Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, with a majority of the entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno provide the billions of dollars in profit that casinos rake in every year. While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw in the crowds, a casino would not exist without these games of chance.

Most of today’s casinos are built with a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance system that gives security personnel an overhead view of the entire casino floor from a room filled with banks of security monitors. In addition to watching over the casino patrons, these cameras can also be directed to focus on specific patrons who may appear suspicious. Elaborate surveillance systems also allow casinos to track winnings at table games, and even individual slot machines.

A casino earns a large part of its income by charging players an extra percentage on each bet they make, or vig, as it is sometimes called. This advantage can be very small – lower than two percent – but it adds up to enough money for casinos to spend on elaborate hotels, fountains and replicas of famous landmarks. Casinos are also able to attract large numbers of people by offering comps, or complimentary goods and services, to big players. These can include free hotel rooms, food and drinks, tickets to shows and limo service.