What Is a Casino?

A casino, also called a gaming house, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. The games played in casinos, whether they are traditional table games like blackjack and roulette or newer video poker machines, have mathematical odds that guarantee the house an edge over patrons. This advantage is known as the house edge or expected value. The casinos make their profit by taking a percentage of the money wagered, either from each bet or as an hourly fee from patrons playing poker. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions.

A modern casino features a wide variety of gaming options, from classic table games such as craps and baccarat to slot machines and video poker. Some casinos specialize in specific types of games, such as Asian-style games like sic bo and fan-tan. Many casinos have special rooms for high-stakes gamblers, where the bets can be in the tens of thousands of dollars. Guests in these areas are offered luxurious inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, free transportation and hotel rooms, reduced-fare meals, and complimentary drinks and cigarettes while gambling.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both staff and patrons may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To reduce these risks, casinos employ a number of security measures. These include security cameras throughout the facility, and employees whose jobs involve observing players and their betting habits.

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