What is a Casino?


The best casinos in the world, decked out with opulent furnishings and overflowing bars, elevate gambling to a high art form. The games are varied and complex, the stakes are sky-high, and the experience is truly once-in-a-lifetime.


In modern times the term casino may refer to any of a number of large public gaming houses in Europe and North America that offer gambling, typically in the form of table games or slot machines. Most casinos are regulated by the gaming authority in the jurisdiction where they are located. Casinos are also often found on American Indian reservations, where state laws do not apply, and in some cases on cruise ships.

Unlike most other forms of gambling, where patrons are competing against each other, casino games involve pitting the gambler against the house, which has an established mathematical expectation of winning. This gives the casino an enormous advantage in terms of gross profit, and it is rare for a casino to lose money on a particular game for more than a day or two.

To counteract this mathematical edge, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. Dealers keep a close eye on patrons to make sure they aren’t cheating by palming cards or marking dice, and each table game has a “higher-up” person watching over the whole table to catch more subtle forms of collusion. Technology is also used: betting chips have built-in microcircuitry to track how much money is wagered minute-by-minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to quickly detect any deviation from their expected results.