What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment, usually with a wide variety of slot machines and table games. Many casinos also have stage shows, dramatic scenery and luxurious accommodations. Casinos make money by charging patrons a percentage of the total bets made. This percentage is called the house edge and is designed to ensure that over time, the casino will make a profit.

Because of the large amounts of money that change hands in a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. For this reason, most casinos have significant security measures in place. In addition to cameras and other technological measures, casino staff are trained to notice suspicious behavior such as erratic betting patterns or a lack of eye contact.

Most modern casinos have card games such as blackjack, poker and baccarat; dice games like craps; and wheel games such as roulette. Most of these games are played on a table with a dealer who manages the game and enforces rules. These tables are generally painted a bright color such as red, which is believed to stimulate the players and increase their alertness.

In the past, mobsters controlled many casinos. However, real estate investors and hotel chains with deeper pockets bought out the mobsters and began to run their own casinos without mob interference. Because of federal crackdowns and the risk of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of mafia involvement, legitimate businesses have kept mobsters out of their casinos.