What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment. Gambling has been a part of human culture throughout history in every society, and casinos are the modern expression of that activity. Casinos are places where people can gamble for money and be entertained by games of chance and skill, such as blackjack, poker and craps. The casinos are designed to be noisy, bright and exciting, with food and alcohol available for purchase.

Casinos make the majority of their income from slot machines, which are simple mechanical devices that pay out a predetermined amount of money when a winning combination is achieved. Players put in money, pull a handle or push a button, and watch as varying bands of colored shapes roll past on reels (actual physical reels or video representations). Slot machine play is strictly random, with no element of player skill involved.

Because the large amounts of cash handled in a casino give patrons and employees alike the opportunity to cheat or steal in collusion or independently, casinos spend a considerable amount of time, effort and money on security measures. A basic measure is security cameras, located throughout the casino and able to be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. Casinos with more elaborate surveillance systems offer a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire floor from a control room filled with banks of monitors.

Casinos also reward frequent players with free goods and services, called comps. These perks range from free rooms and meals to tickets for shows. More lucrative comps are offered to high-rollers, whose total bets exceed a certain amount.