What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can risk money or other valuables on games of chance. Casinos also feature other entertainment activities, such as stage shows and dramatic scenery. Modern casinos have a wide range of amenities to attract and keep customers, from free food and drinks to exotic decor. They are usually lit in bright, sometimes gaudy colors to stimulate the senses and encourage gamblers to spend more money.

Casinos are run by professionals and have highly developed security systems. In addition to a physical security force, many modern casinos have specialized surveillance departments that monitor closed circuit television, or “eyes in the sky.” This allows security workers to spot suspicious activities and respond quickly.

Casinos are designed to make a profit from the billions of dollars in wagers placed on games such as blackjack, craps and slot machines. In order to maximize profits, casinos offer customers a variety of incentives, including free food and drink, discounted hotel rooms and show tickets. Casinos also use sophisticated technology to supervise the games themselves. For example, roulette wheels are monitored electronically to detect statistical deviations from expected results. Many casinos now employ chip tracking, which enables the casino to know exactly how much is being wagered on each game minute by minute. The casinos also use electronic devices that record player movements and reactions to create a profile of players. These profiles help security staff recognize potential cheats and thieves.