What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various gambling games. There are many casinos in the world. They vary in size and scope. Some are huge and luxurious, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas, while others are more modest in size but still offer a variety of gambling opportunities, such as the Hippodrome in London, England. Some are also open to the public, while others are exclusive members-only clubs.

Regardless of the size or style of a casino, all operate on the same basic principle: The odds are always stacked against the gambler. Casinos must make up for this fact by generating enough profits to cover their overhead and other costs. To do this, casinos invest a large amount of time and money in security. Security personnel patrol the casino floor, watching patrons closely for blatant cheating (palming, marking or switching cards or dice) or suspicious betting patterns. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” and allow security workers to adjust cameras to focus on specific patrons.

In addition, casinos try to attract and keep regular customers by offering perks known as comps. These can include free hotel rooms, discounted buffets and tickets to shows. Casinos may even give away limo service and airline tickets to the highest-spending players. Something about the glitz and glamour of casino gambling draws people in, but it’s often the addictive nature of the games that keeps them coming back for more.