What is a Casino?

A Casino is an entertainment complex that makes the vast majority of its profits from gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels are the lure that draws in the people who gamble on games like blackjack, roulette, baccarat and slot machines. These games provide the random chance that produces the billions of dollars in profit raked in by casinos each year.

As casinos grew into the massive tourist destinations that they are today, they had to come up with ways to draw people in and keep them coming back. In the beginning, this was done by offering discounts on hotel rooms and free show tickets, but more recently casinos have concentrated on rewarding loyal patrons with free food, drink and even vacation packages.

Something about the nature of gambling encourages people to cheat, steal and lie to try to make a quick buck, but casinos spend a great deal of time, money and effort trying to thwart these activities. Security starts on the casino floor, where employees watch patrons carefully for signs of tampering or fraud. Dealers are trained to spot blatant cheating like palming, marking or switching cards or dice, and pit bosses and table managers have a wider view of the tables so they can catch players who might be stealing chips from other patrons.

Casinos also offer a wide range of table and card games, from the traditional casino games like blackjack and baccarat to Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which has spread to American casinos) and fan-tan. They may also offer keno or other lottery-type games, and some are equipped for sports betting.