What is a Casino?


A casino is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. In addition to the standard casino fare of tables, cards and dice, many modern casinos add a variety of other entertainment activities to attract and retain customers, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Casinos usually have security departments that patrol the premises and respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious activity. They also employ specialized surveillance systems.

Most casinos make their money by charging an edge on bets placed by patrons. The house advantage can be very small, less than two percent in some cases, but over time it can earn the casino millions of dollars. This profit is often referred to as the vig or the rake, and it can vary by game, from zero in roulette to a maximum of 10 percent in poker.

Most modern casinos feature a wide variety of games, from the most common (roulette, craps and blackjack) to more exotic offerings such as sic bo and baccarat. Most have poker rooms as well, since the United States is home to major live poker events and the game has become popular with players who prefer strategy to luck.