What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling, and is often a combination of a hotel, restaurant and gambling rooms. It may also refer to an establishment where live entertainment is offered.

The modern casino is a complex entertainment facility featuring restaurants, shows and gambling, with the majority of its profits generated by games of chance. While lighted fountains, shopping centers and musical shows draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without the billions of dollars raked in each year by slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other games.

In 2005, Harrah’s reported that the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. These women often go on weekend gambling trips with friends. They are not the only ones to gamble in a casino; according to Roper Reports, GfK NOP and TNS, in 2008 24% of American adults had visited a casino.

Casinos make money by charging a fee to players for the use of their gaming facilities. This fee is called the vig or rake and it helps compensate for the house’s built-in mathematical advantage, which can be as low as two percent. In addition, some casinos allow players to place bets using a special device that electronically tracks their winnings or losses, and others employ a computer system to monitor the game’s outcome minute-by-minute and warn staff immediately of any statistical deviation from expected results. Despite these measures, it is easy to cheat, steal or scam in a casino, which is why security personnel are positioned throughout the facility and surveillance cameras keep watch.