What is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gaming house or a gambling establishment, is an establishment where people can gamble. It may be integrated into hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, etc. Casinos are regulated by governments and most offer free alcohol and food to guests who are playing games that require skill, such as poker. Some casinos make money by charging a “vig” or “rake”, which is added to each bet placed.

Casinos are heavily regulated, with high security to prevent cheating. Typically, a physical security force patrols the casino while a specialized surveillance department monitors a closed circuit TV system, known as the “eye-in-the-sky.” During this live feed, employees can spot suspicious patrons, and they can adjust the camera’s focus to see if a player is hiding cards or dice. Some casinos also have catwalks that allow security personnel to look directly down at the table and slot machines from above.

In the United States, casino gambling is legal in Nevada and New Jersey, but most other states prohibit it. Some American Indian tribes have their own casinos, which are exempt from state gambling laws. Casinos are also found in many tourist destinations, such as Las Vegas, and on some riverboats. In Europe, the term is more often used to refer to a public gaming hall, which is usually smaller and less elaborate than a full-fledged casino.