What is a Casino?

A casino is a building or room where people can gamble. It is also known as a gaming house or gambling den. Casinos are most often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and/or other tourist attractions. They may also be located in military installations and/or on cruise ships. In the United States, casinos are regulated by state and local governments.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers help draw in the crowds, the vast majority of casino profits (and gambling revenue) comes from games of chance such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno. Casinos are often designed with these games in mind, creating themed rooms and even entire buildings dedicated to them.

The concept behind casinos is to create an environment that is centered on noise, light and excitement. Gamblers are surrounded by other players and waiters whose job is to deliver alcoholic drinks. Some casinos are geared toward families, while others target older adults who have more time and disposable income to spend on gambling.

Security is a huge part of the casino business, with casino employees keeping an eye on each game and casino patron. Dealers can quickly spot blatant cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards. Pit bosses and table managers watch over each game with a broader view, looking for betting patterns that indicate possible collusion. Elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky, allowing security personnel to monitor every table, window and doorway.