What Is a Casino?


A Casino is a building that functions as a gambling establishment. They offer games of chance and skill, and most are located in exotic locations like Las Vegas and Macau. The best casinos combine opulent suites, spas and fine dining with roulette wheels, blackjack tables and slot machines.

Although a modern casino may look more like an indoor amusement park than a traditional gambling house, the vast majority of its profits come from gambling. The casinos earn billions of dollars for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also make billions in revenue for local, state and federal governments through taxes and fees. In addition to generating profits, casinos can be detrimental to a community: studies show that they reduce spending by locals and hurt property values; they can also increase the number of compulsive gamblers, whose addictions cost the industry billions in lost productivity.

Casinos have a variety of security measures to prevent cheating and stealing. Besides the obvious surveillance cameras, casino employees are trained to watch for telltale signs of collusion between patrons and dealers or other violations of rules. Some casinos employ specialists called gaming mathematicians to analyze the probability of a particular game and determine its expected value (sometimes referred to as its “house edge”). A large amount of money is handled within a casino, and both patrons and staff members can be tempted to steal in one way or another.