What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility where people can gamble on games of chance or skill, in some cases with an element of risk. Most casinos are located in cities with a large tourist or business population, such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Others are located on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state anti-gambling laws.

Most gambling activities in casinos are regulated by law. Casinos have security measures to prevent cheating or stealing by patrons and employees. These may include physical security forces that patrol the premises and a specialized surveillance department, known as the eye in the sky, which monitors the entire casino on closed circuit television. Casinos also rely on computerized systems to oversee their games, such as the chip tracking system for table bets or the vig on roulette wheels.

Despite these security measures, something about the atmosphere of gambling seems to encourage people to attempt to cheat or steal in collusion with other patrons or even on their own. Consequently, casinos spend a great deal of money on security.

In addition, many casinos focus on customer service and offer a variety of incentives to keep customers gambling. In particular, they offer free food and drinks, including alcohol, at the tables and slot machines. They also offer comps to their high-volume players, such as free hotel rooms, tickets to shows and limo service. These rewards are intended to compensate for the casino’s house edge, which is mathematically determined by the odds of winning each game.