What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. In modern usage, the term is most often used to refer to a large facility for high-stakes games of chance such as craps, poker, blackjack, and roulette. It can also refer to a small facility for low-stakes games such as bingo, backgammon, and slot machines. Casinos can be found in Las Vegas and other cities around the world, and can also be built into hotels and resorts, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions.

Casinos earn money by charging a commission on bets placed by patrons. The amount of the commission varies by game and can be very high. In addition, casinos use elaborate architectural features to attract attention and create a special atmosphere. For example, many feature bright colors and dazzling lighting designed to stimulate the senses and rouse excitement. Many also have a high noise level and provide nonalcoholic drinks for free to encourage players.

In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state governments, and are commonly located in a variety of places including urban areas, rural areas, and Indian reservations. They can also be found at racetracks as racinos, and on cruise ships, military bases, and other facilities. In the late 20th century, many American states amended their laws to permit casinos, and they are now common throughout the country.

A casino’s security begins on the gaming floor, where pit bosses and table managers supervise the activities of all gamblers. Security personnel can spot blatant cheating and note patterns of play that suggest potential problems. In addition, casino chips have microcircuitry that enables them to be tracked by surveillance cameras; and roulette wheels are monitored electronically for any statistical deviations from their expected results.

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