What Is a Casino?


The casino is an establishment where people can gamble by placing bets with cash or other items of value. Most casinos feature a variety of gambling games, including craps, roulette, blackjack, and video poker. Some casinos also offer skill-based games such as poker and sports betting. In the United States, Las Vegas is the largest casino market, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To prevent these activities, casinos employ a variety of security measures. These range from simple rules of conduct to sophisticated electronic surveillance systems. Security personnel watch the floor closely, looking for blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards, and counting chips. Table managers and pit bosses supervise the table games with a more broad view, watching for betting patterns that suggest cheating. All of this activity is monitored on cameras throughout the casino.

In addition to the physical security measures, most casinos use a wide variety of incentives to lure big bettors and keep them coming back. These inducements can include free spectacular entertainment, luxury transportation and elegant living quarters. In games where players compete against the house, casinos earn their profits through a commission known as the rake.