What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling. Casinos feature table games such as blackjack and roulette, slot machines and poker. Some casinos offer live entertainment and luxury accommodations. Others are renowned for their extravagant decor and architecture, like the Bellagio in Las Vegas, known for its dancing fountains, or the Grand Lisboa in Macau, East Asia’s version of the strip. Casinos may also offer comps, or complimentary items or services, to players based on their play and time spent at the tables or slot machines.

Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, it is possible for patrons and employees to cheat or steal. To prevent this, most casinos have security measures in place. Most modern casinos employ both a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. Casinos also utilize technology to ensure fair play. For example, many tables have chips with built-in microcircuitry that allow them to monitor exactly how much is being wagered minute by minute and warn if any deviation from expected results occurs.

In addition, many casinos hire professional mathematicians to design and analyze game software. This helps them determine the house edge and variance for each game, which is used to calculate how much of a profit the casino will make. It is important for a casino to know its house edge and variance because it impacts how much of a capital reserve it must maintain. This information is used by a casino’s gaming mathematicians and analysts to create new games, improve existing ones and to set game payouts.