What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Its popularity has led to expansion across the United States and beyond. While casinos can be a source of entertainment, they are often associated with crime and addiction. They can also damage the economy of a city by diverting money from other sources of leisure.

The term casino is most closely associated with Las Vegas, Nevada, the world’s leading gambling center. However, large casinos have been operating in Europe and Asia for years. They typically feature a variety of table and slot machines, as well as sports betting, keno and bingo. Most also offer Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.

Casinos make money by charging patrons for access to their gaming tables, which include a small house edge built into each game. The edge can be as low as two percent, but it can be a significant percentage of the total money wagered over time. In addition, casinos may impose other fees such as a rake or hourly fee for playing poker.

Because of the large amounts of cash handled, casinos are prone to theft by both patrons and staff. As a result, they employ a number of security measures, including cameras and other electronic devices. Depending on the level of sophistication, security systems can range from a simple video camera in the doorway to a high-tech eye-in-the-sky that can watch every aspect of a casino.