What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that provides card and table games. It may also have slot machines and other electronic gaming devices. Casinos make billions of dollars each year for their owners, investors, and Native American tribes. They also generate significant tax revenue for state and local governments. They are an important source of entertainment and recreation for many people.

The modern casino evolved out of a variety of European gambling houses. Casinos feature table games like blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat as well as poker and various slot machine types. Some casinos have dedicated areas for sports betting and horse racing. Some are located in major cities and serve as tourist attractions. Others are spread out across the country and include hotels, restaurants and other entertainment venues.

Security is a key element of any casino. It starts with employees on the floor watching games and patrons. Dealers have a close eye on their own game and can quickly spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. Pit bosses and table managers watch over the games with a wider view, checking betting patterns that could indicate cheating.

Other casino security involves computer programs that monitor the games themselves. For example, chip tracking systems allow casinos to check the exact amount wagered minute-by-minute and warn about any unusual pattern; automated versions of table games like roulette have built-in microcircuitry that can detect abnormal deviations from expected results. Computers also monitor the behavior of players to see if they are following expected betting patterns. These systems have helped to significantly reduce the incidence of cheating and other forms of fraud in the industry.