What is a Casino?


A Casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance can be played. Although musical shows, lighted fountains, restaurants and elaborate scenery help to attract patrons, casinos would not exist without the millions of dollars that are bet each year on slot machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and other games.

The word casino is derived from Italian, and it may have been coined as a name for small clubs that Italians used for social occasions. During the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos capitalized on this idea and branded themselves as “destination” casinos. This strategy was successful in drawing tourists, which generated a large amount of gambling revenue. In order to increase profits, these casinos lowered their standards of customer service and offered free show tickets, cheap hotel rooms, food, drink and cigarettes while gambling.

Casinos typically accept all bets within an established limit, so it is rare for a patron to win more than the house can afford to pay. Each game has a mathematical expectancy that ensures the house has at all times an advantage over the players, or a negative expected value, as it is commonly referred to.

Some casinos use technology to supervise games and monitor the actions of their customers. For example, in some casinos betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that enables them to be monitored minute-by-minute and alert the casino to any statistical deviation; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to quickly discover anomalies.