What Is a Casino?

A casino, or gaming establishment, is a place where people can gamble on various games of chance. It may also have a restaurant and other amenities for its patrons. Some casinos are very large and have several floors, while others are small and intimate. The largest casinos are in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Chicago, while many smaller casinos can be found throughout the United States and around the world.

A large portion of a casino’s revenue comes from table games, especially blackjack and roulette, which have built-in mathematical expectancies that ensure the house will win. These expectancies are known as the house edge. Players with skills that reduce the house edge to a negligible amount are known as advantage players. The casino industry has tried to discourage advantage play by limiting the number of allowed tables and restricting when and where games are played.

Casinos are often associated with luxury and opulence, romanticized in films with images of high-stakes gambling tables surrounded by a select group of patrons wearing tuxedos or evening gowns. They can be very expensive to visit, but offer an experience that is often worth the price.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. Most casinos employ security measures to prevent this, including close observation of all transactions and the use of security cameras. Due to the nature of the business, casinos are frequently the target of organized crime, and are subject to robbery, burglary, murder, arson, and fraud.