What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where gamblers play for money. Originally, casinos were establishments that only offered games of chance, but in modern times they often add other luxuries such as restaurants, bars, free drinks and stage shows to attract customers. Some places have become known as casino cities, including Monte Carlo in Monaco. Regardless of the extras, all casinos are designed to make profits by offering gambling services. There are a few games that require skill, but the majority of them rely on pure chance and have mathematically determined odds that always favor the house.

A few of the most popular casino games include roulette, blackjack and video poker. Most casinos offer these games and also Far Eastern games like sic bo, baccarat, fan-tan and pai gow. In addition, some casinos feature horse racing and a full range of other casino entertainment.

While the large number of patrons and huge amounts of currency handled within a casino could create temptation for cheating or theft, most casinos employ strict security measures to prevent these problems. For example, dealers are trained to spot blatant scams like palming or marking cards and dice. Likewise, pit bosses and table managers watch over the tables with a wider view, looking for betting patterns that suggest collusion or other suspicious behavior.

The mob was an important source of funding for early casinos in Nevada, but federal crackdowns on organized crime and the fear of losing a casino license at even the slightest hint of mafia involvement caused legitimate businessmen to get involved. The largest casinos are now owned by hotels, real estate investors and major casino operators such as Donald Trump and the Hilton family.