What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment that provides a variety of games of chance. These include slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker and other table games. They earn billions of dollars for their owners, investors, and Native American tribes.

Gambling, a public activity determined by chance and skill, has been popular since time immemorial. However, the modern casino is a specialized establishment with a variety of luxury amenities to attract patrons and increase profits.

How Casinos Make Their Money

The majority of the profits at casinos come from games of chance, with slot machines, poker, and blackjack accounting for the biggest share. These games, which are often referred to as “house” games, provide a predictable long-term advantage for the house (the casino), while offering players a chance for a short-term gain.

What Are the Popular Games?

In the United States, poker is the most popular casino game, and you’ll find it in nearly all of the commercial and tribal casinos. Some of these poker rooms even hold the World Series of Poker and other events.

How Do Casinos Stay Safe?

A casino has a number of people on hand to watch over the games and patrons. Dealers focus on their own games, but pit bosses and table managers keep an eye on all the tables. They also spot suspicious betting patterns that may indicate cheating or theft.

Elaborate surveillance systems offer an “eye in the sky” that allows security personnel to watch the entire casino at once. They can watch over all the tables, change windows and doorways, and adjust their cameras to target specific patrons. These high-tech systems also record video feeds for review if a crime or cheat is detected.