What Is a Casino?

Categories : Gambling

A casino is a gambling establishment that accepts bets on games of chance. In the United States, casinos have long been associated with Las Vegas and Reno in Nevada, Atlantic City in New Jersey, and now exist in several American Indian reservations and some American cities, where state antigambling laws do not apply.

Casinos are profitable because every game they offer has a built-in mathematical advantage, or house edge, which can be as low as two percent. This small profit, which is usually split among the casino employees and gamblers, is enough to make the casinos wealthy enough to build elaborate hotels, fountains and replicas of famous pyramids, towers and landmarks.

Some casinos are designed to appeal specifically to the wealthy, drawing royalty and aristocrats to their gaming tables, as well as entertainers and movie stars to their show rooms. This opulence is also evident in the interior design of many casinos, which often feature chandeliers, gold and marble.

Because of the large amount of money that is handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently; thus casinos have a variety of security measures. Security cameras are the most obvious, but sophisticated casinos employ a variety of other techniques: betting chips with microcircuitry that interact with electronic systems on table games to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute; and roulette wheels that are electronically monitored regularly to discover any statistical anomalies.