What is a Casino?


A casino is a public place where games of chance are played and gambling is the primary activity. People gamble on table games, slot machines and card games and win or lose money. Casinos also add other luxuries to attract and keep players like restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Casinos are usually very large and require a great deal of labor to operate.

Gambling is a highly profitable business for casinos. Every game of chance has a built in advantage for the casino and it’s rare that a patron will win more than a casino can pay out on bets. In order to ensure that this does not happen, casinos spend a significant amount of money on security. This includes everything from video cameras to surveillance personnel to paper shredders to secure document boxes.

Some casinos even have catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one way glass, on the activities at table games and slots. The broader view allows for the observation of betting patterns that may indicate cheating or stealing. Casinos also employ staff to watch high stakes card games and have other employees that focus on specific game types.

Some casinos hire gaming mathematicians to help them calculate the house edge and variance of different games. This is important because it helps them know how much they should expect to make on each bet and what percentage of their total budget they need to cover overhead expenses. Casinos are also known to offer comps, or complimentary goods and services, to “good” gamblers. These may include free hotel rooms, show tickets, limo or transportation and more.

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