What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment offering certain types of gambling, such as slot machines, table games and card games. Some casinos also offer live entertainment and events such as stand-up comedy, concerts and sports. Many casinos are located in resorts, hotels and cruise ships or may be standalone facilities. Casinos are operated by a variety of people, including locals, tourists and business travelers, and some offer employment opportunities.

In the United States, casinos are mostly located in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, with several others in Chicago and a few other cities. Most states ban gambling, but Nevada and some other states allow it, with most legal casino operations run by Native American tribes or by commercial operators.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw customers, most of a casino’s profits come from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, baccarat, roulette and other games provide the billions in revenue that bring casinos to life. But these games have built in odds that give the house a mathematical advantage, which is known as the house edge.

Because large amounts of money are handled within casinos, both patrons and staff are tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To keep crime at a minimum, casinos employ a number of security measures. These include a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that operates closed circuit television, commonly referred to as the eye in the sky.