What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling games. Often, casinos are built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops and other tourist attractions. They may also serve as meeting places for groups and individuals, especially when the facility includes conference rooms. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events such as concerts and sporting events. In some countries, casinos are subject to strict government controls.

The word casino is believed to be derived from the Latin casinus, meaning “to try one’s luck.” The modern casino is an amalgamation of many ideas and influences from different cultures and history. It combines elements of traditional European games like card and table games with American-style slot machines.

Security in a casino starts on the floor, where employees keep their eyes on patrons and the games to make sure everything goes according to plan. Dealers are trained to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards and to recognize betting patterns that suggest a player is trying to manipulate the outcome of a game. Table managers and pit bosses have a broader view of the games, monitoring how much money is wagered minute by minute and watching for signs that players are sharing chips or stealing chips from other tables.

Most casino games involve chance and the house always has an advantage over the players, a fact that is mathematically determined and can be expressed by the notion of expected value (which is uniformly negative from the player’s point of view). In addition to ensuring fairness to all customers, some casinos reward their best patrons with complimentary items or comps, which are calculated based on how long and how much a person plays at a given table or machine.

Posted in: Gambling