What Is a Casino?


A Casino is a gambling establishment that provides a variety of games of chance to its patrons. It also offers a host of amenities such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Some casinos are very lavish in their designs, incorporating fountains, pyramids and towers as well as replicas of famous landmarks. A casino’s primary source of revenue comes from the vig, or house edge, built into the games themselves. The advantage can be as little as two percent, but when multiplied by the millions of dollars in bets made at each casino game, it adds up to enough money to keep many casinos in business.

Something about the presence of large sums of money seems to encourage people to cheat or steal at casino tables and slot machines. The skepticism of most gamblers helps to keep the number of crooks and cheats relatively low, but that doesn’t mean that casinos aren’t constantly on guard for them. Casinos employ a host of security measures, including cameras, to monitor their patrons and the games. They also have special rooms where high-stakes gamblers play, separated from the rest of the casino floor to avoid any tampering with the games.

Most casinos are run by real estate investors and hotel chains who have the deep pockets to buy out gangsters and operate their own casinos without mob interference. Mobsters once owned and ran many of the largest casinos in the United States, but after a series of crackdowns by federal law enforcement agencies and pressure from state governments, they had to sell their holdings.