What Is a Casino?
A casino is a gambling establishment that allows patrons to wager money on games of chance. Casinos feature a wide variety of games, and many offer dining options and live entertainment. In the United States, Las Vegas and Atlantic City are famous for their casinos. Other casinos are found in smaller cities and towns, as well as Native American gaming zones.
Modern casino buildings often feature elaborate themes and amenities. They also have sophisticated security measures. Cameras in the ceiling and a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” system allow security personnel to view everything happening on the casino floor at once. In addition, employees patrol the floor and watch for blatant cheating (like palming or marking cards) and betting patterns that could signal collusion. Some casinos even have catwalks that allow security personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on the activities of slot machines and table games.
Gambling has been part of human culture for thousands of years. From ancient Mesopotamia to Elizabethan England, people have placed bets for rewards such as food, drink and even slave labor. Today, casino games are an integral part of the entertainment industry, bringing in billions of dollars for their owners every year.
Casinos make their profits by gaining an edge over the odds on each game played. This edge may be very small, less than two percent, but it adds up over time and helps pay for the fancy hotels, lighted fountains, shopping centers and theme parks that draw in visitors.