What is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment in which a variety of games of chance are played. Although musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers are common features at modern casinos, the majority of the billions in profits made each year by these businesses come from games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette and baccarat are the most popular casino games. The house has a built in advantage in each of these games, but over time this can be offset by the millions of bets placed by patrons.

While elaborate hotels, theaters and stage shows help attract gamblers, the casino business would not exist without games of chance. The casinos make money by gaining a small advantage over the players (usually less than two percent). This advantage is known as the vig or rake. It is collected from every bet made in the casino. This money is used to pay for the luxuries and attractions that are a part of the modern casino.

Many casinos reward frequent patrons with free goods and services. These are called comps and can include hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets, limo service and airline tickets. Players who play long hours and place large bets can be considered good players by a casino and given a higher rating that could result in special treatment and comps.

A casino’s security is a complex blend of physical and electronic surveillance. Each casino has a security force that patrols the floor and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspected or definite crime. A separate specialized security department operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, known as an eye in the sky, which can be adjusted to focus on specific patrons.