What is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that features game tables for card games, dice and slot machines. A casino also offers entertainment such as shows and restaurants. Casinos make their money by charging an hourly rate to players or taking a percentage of each pot in poker games. They may also give free items to gamblers known as comps.

Gambling has a long and colorful history, beginning with primitive protodice and carved knuckle bones in prehistoric times and evolving into the modern casino, which is more like an indoor amusement park for adults than a place to spend money. Casinos feature elaborate themes, dazzling lighting and a mind-blowing number of games. Many even offer hotels, shopping, non-gambling games and other amenities.

People gamble for fun and because there is a possibility that they might win some money. But it is important for bettors to understand that the house always wins, at least in the long run. This is because of the mathematically determined odds that each casino game has.

The mob had a lot of money from their drug dealing, extortion and other rackets and was ready to invest it in Reno and Las Vegas casinos. But federal crackdowns and the fear of losing a gaming license at the slightest hint of mob involvement caused legitimate businessmen with deep pockets to take over, buying out the mobsters and running their own casinos without mafia interference.

Modern casino security is usually divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, often called the eye in the sky. The security forces are trained to spot certain patterns of behavior that indicate the onset of a problem.