What is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling establishment or a gaming room, is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos feature a wide range of table and slot machines, and some even have croupiers or other staff members to help players with their decisions. Many casinos are located in the Las Vegas Valley, while others are spread throughout the United States and the world.

Most casino games involve some element of skill, but the house always has a mathematical advantage that ensures it will win. This is sometimes called the house edge or expected value, and it means that, over time, most players will lose money. Some games, like poker and blackjack, require the players to compete against each other, while others are more purely chance-based.

Casinos are popular with many different types of gamblers, from the high rollers to the casual gamers. In order to attract large bettors, they offer them a variety of incentives such as free rooms, meals and show tickets. They also reward loyal customers with comps, which can include airline tickets, limo service and even cash back on their losses.

Because of the large amounts of money handled, casino security is a major issue. Patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; for this reason, most casinos have extensive security measures. The use of cameras is a common practice, and some casinos even have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down on the game tables through one-way glass.