What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can place bets on various events and games of chance. Casinos also offer a variety of food and drinks, and some have entertainment acts. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as baccarat, pai gow poker, and blackjack. Others offer more diversified offerings, such as a wide range of slots and video poker machines, along with keno and sports betting.

Casinos are regulated by governments, and their operations may be monitored and inspected by local and federal law enforcement agencies. They are also required to be self-sufficient, generating a majority of their income through gambling activities, not from other sources like food and beverage sales, and to be staffed by employees who are trained in customer service and security.

Because of the large amounts of money involved, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; hence, most casinos have elaborate security measures. These measures usually include a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. In addition, casinos monitor and supervise their games to ensure that they are conducted fairly. This is done by means of devices such as electronic chips with built-in microcircuitry that allow casinos to supervise the amount wagered minute-by-minute, and electronic roulette wheels that are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical deviations from their expected results.

Casinos make most of their profit from high-stakes gamblers, who are often given extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, limousine transportation, and elegant living quarters. However, some studies indicate that the net economic value a casino brings to a community is negative, as a result of the shift in spending away from other forms of local entertainment and the cost of treating compulsive gambling.