What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance for money or other prizes. It also may include other attractions such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows, and dramatic scenery. The most famous casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, though there are many others around the world.

A casino can be built on land or water, in a building or in a separate facility. Some casinos offer only a few table games and some slot machines, while others have an entire cityscape filled with hotels, resorts, and other amenities. In some cases, the entire complex is a themed attraction, such as the Eiffel Tower Casino in Paris or the Sun City Resort in South Africa.

Gambling has been legal in Nevada since 1931, and casinos soon sprouted across the country as other states saw the profits to be made. It took another forty-seven years before New Jersey allowed gambling, but once it did, the industry grew rapidly and more and more states followed suit.

Every game in a casino has a mathematical advantage for the house, and over time this adds up to a substantial profit. To maximize their earnings, casinos offer large bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment and transportation, and even reduced-fare hotel rooms. They also make money from the players of table games by taking a small percentage of each bet, called the vig or the rake. Security is a major concern at casinos, and they often use high-tech surveillance to catch cheats and thieves.