What is a Casino?


Casino is an entertainment venue where customers gamble through games of chance (and sometimes with an element of skill) for the opportunity to win prizes. Most gambling games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house always has a net profit over players (also known as expected value). In games where customers compete against each other, such as poker, casinos earn money through a commission called the rake.

Casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security to prevent cheating, theft, and other crimes. Casino employees keep a close eye on patrons and the games, and can quickly spot suspicious betting patterns. They are assisted by high-tech eye-in-the-sky surveillance systems that can zoom in on any table, window or doorway. Some of these cameras are controlled by computers, allowing security personnel to adjust their focus on any suspect.

Most casinos offer a wide variety of gambling activities, including poker, roulette, blackjack, and craps. Depending on state laws, they may also offer video poker, bingo, and other entertainment. Most casinos also serve food and drink, and some even have hotels.

In order to attract groups, many casinos offer a range of incentives to gamblers. For example, they might offer free show tickets, hotel rooms, reduced-fare transportation, or complimentary items while gambling (also known as comps). This type of marketing is particularly common in Las Vegas where competition for group business is fierce. In fact, the city has become famous for its cheap hotel rates and lavish incentives to encourage people to visit.