What Is a Casino?

A casino (also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment) is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. Some are also known for hosting live entertainment events such as concerts or sports games. In some cases, a casino is operated by a government entity.

Casinos offer a variety of betting options, including traditional table games like blackjack and poker, as well as video poker and roulette. All casino games have a mathematical expectancy that ensures the house will always win, even in the long run. In fact, it is very rare for a casino to lose money on any game. This advantage is called the house edge, and it is a part of the basic business model of all casino games.

Unlike the dingy saloons that once lined the Mississippi River, modern casinos are designed with elegance and sophistication. In addition to offering a wide range of casino games, many are famous for their luxurious accommodations and high-end dining options. Some are even known for being featured as settings in movies, such as the Bellagio, made famous by the movie Ocean’s 11.

The large amounts of money that casino patrons handle make them vulnerable to attempts at cheating and theft, either in collusion with other patrons or independently. For this reason, most casinos have security measures in place to deter these activities. Among these are cameras throughout the facility, and sophisticated technological monitoring systems that can detect statistical deviations in game results.