What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Its customers are primarily adults. Casinos offer a variety of games of chance and are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Many casinos are world-famous, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. Casinos can also be found in other cities around the globe, such as Singapore and Venice, and on various American Indian reservations that are not subject to state gambling laws.

While lighted fountains, musical shows and dramatic scenery help attract patrons, the profits generated by casino games of chance are the basis for the billions in income that casinos bring in each year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker, craps and keno are the games that make up the majority of a casino’s revenue.

Modern casinos employ a large staff to oversee the gaming activities, and they utilize technology to ensure that game play is fair. For example, betting chips may have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems to enable the casino to monitor exactly how much is wagered minute by minute and to discover any deviation from expected results quickly. Casinos also use computers to supervise table games, allowing them to monitor the exact location of each bet and to spot any suspicious activity.

Casinos are usually staffed by a mix of trained casino employees and professional security personnel. While the former focuses on patrolling and responding to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, the latter watches over games with a more subtle eye: The routines and patterns of casino games (such as how dealers shuffle and deal cards) follow predictable patterns that can be easily spotted by someone familiar with their workings.