What Is a Casino?


A casino (or ‘casino’ in French) is a public room or building where gambling games, such as roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, and slot machines, are played. Some casinos also offer other entertainment, such as shows or dining. A casino is a notable source of revenue for the city in which it is located, and some are famous tourist attractions.

In the United States, there are now more than 30 legal casinos. Most are located in Las Vegas, Nevada; a few are in other major cities such as New York City and Atlantic City. Many American Indian reservations have casinos, which are not subject to state anti-gambling laws.

The most famous casino is probably in Monte Carlo, in Monaco. It was established in 1863 and is still a popular destination for gamblers from around the world. Other well-known casinos include those in Paris and Macau.

Modern casino security is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The former patrols the premises and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious activity, while the latter monitors all activity within a specific area of the casino via closed circuit television.

While some casino games have a small element of skill, most of them are games of chance and therefore give the house a mathematical advantage over players. This advantage is known as the house edge and can be calculated for individual games by finding the expected value of a wager, assuming optimal play in the game (which does not take into account card counting). In addition to these statistical advantages, casinos earn money through commissions on the rake of table games such as poker.