What is a Casino?

A Casino is an establishment that allows patrons to gamble for money. Casinos may be found attached to hotels, restaurants, resorts, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. A casino is also known as a gambling house or a gaming room. Several games are played at casinos, including roulette, blackjack and craps. Some casinos specialize in certain types of gambling, such as the popular Asian game sic bo. Other casinos feature regional games, such as trente et quarante in France and baccarat in Britain.

Something about the large amounts of money handled by casinos attracts people who are tempted to cheat, steal or scam their way to winning. Casinos spend a lot of time and money on security measures to prevent these people from ruining the experience for everyone else.

Modern casinos usually employ a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The former patrols the premises and responds to calls for assistance or suspicious or definite criminal activity, while the latter operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known as the eye in the sky.

While the casino’s elaborate themes, lighted fountains and dazzling lights help draw in crowds, the bulk of its revenue comes from gambling. Slot machines and video poker generate most of the billions of dollars in profits that U.S. casinos rake in each year, while table games such as roulette, craps and baccarat rake in smaller sums. But studies show that compulsive gambling causes a negative impact on a community, with the cost of treating addicts and lost productivity reversing any economic benefits that a casino might bring to its host city or region.