What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble and win money on games of chance, in some cases with an element of skill. The most famous casino in the world is that of Monte-Carlo, in Monaco, which opened in 1863. Many countries changed their laws in the second half of the 19th century to allow casinos, but some have never legalized them.

Some of the most important casino games are table games like blackjack, baccarat, and roulette that are played against a dealer or banker; card games like poker and pai gow poker that are played against other players; and slot machines. Casinos typically offer multiple types of these games, and have rules to prevent cheating and collusion. They also have special rooms for high-rollers and other VIPs, and may host shows or events that attract the attention of the media.

Casinos make most of their money from the percentage of wagers they collect, or house edge. This is sometimes expressed as expected value or expected return, and it gives the casino a virtual assurance of gross profit. In a game such as baccarat, the house advantage is only about 1 percent; for other games it is lower. Casinos monitor their house edges and variance, and use mathematicians and computer programmers to improve the odds and the performance of their machines.

Planet Hollywood, a little bit of Tinsel Town in the middle of Las Vegas, attracts a young party-going crowd with its 90 tables and over 3,000 slots. It offers a variety of entertainment, including magic shows and burlesque dancers, and features a 200,000-gallon shark aquarium where you can swim with the fishes while sipping on martinis.