What Is a Casino?


Casinos are entertainment centers where gamblers can play a variety of games. Some of these include poker, blackjack, roulette, craps and slot machines.

Historically, casinos were associated with organized crime. Mobsters brought in big cash to fund drug and extortion rackets, and used their money to influence gambling decisions. This gave them the upper hand in Reno and Las Vegas, but real estate investors and hotel chains soon took control of the business.

Today, casinos are a major draw for tourists and residents alike. They offer luxury resorts, restaurants and stage shows.

While casino gambling is primarily about gambling, it also offers a variety of other activities that aren’t necessarily related to gambling. These include performances by prominent music stars, circus troops, stand-up comedians and other performers.

The Casino’s Edge

The house edge is the advantage that a casino has over its players. It is the percentage of money that a casino expects to profit from every $1 million in bets at a game table.

In a typical roulette game, the house edge is about 5.26%. If a player loses, the casino takes a small loss as well. The casino isn’t hoping to bankrupt a player in one sitting, but it does want to make a profit from his or her gambling.

Many of these establishments offer sophisticated surveillance systems to monitor patron activity at tables and slot machines. Cameras in the ceiling watch each table, change windows and doorways, and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. The video feeds are recorded for later review.