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What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment, usually with a theme or themed area, that offers games of chance to its patrons. These games may include slot machines, poker, roulette, blackjack, craps, and many other varieties of gambling. Casinos can also feature live entertainment such as musical shows and gambling-themed movies, as well as shopping centers and hotels.

While casinos offer a full array of amenities and entertainment, they are most famous for their games of chance. While lavish hotels, lighted fountains and elaborate entertainment help draw in customers, it is the games that provide billions of dollars in profits for casinos.

Modern casino technology allows casinos to supervise the games and players in unprecedented detail. Chips with microcircuitry monitor the exact amounts wagered minute by minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any deviation from their expected results; and video cameras in the ceiling give surveillance workers a “eye in the sky” view of every table, window and doorway.

Because of the large sums of money handled in a casino, it is important for both patrons and staff to be aware of security concerns. The potential for fraud and theft exists, either in collusion or independently; most casinos use security cameras and strict rules of conduct to prevent these incidents.

Some casinos, especially those in Las Vegas, have a reputation for being glitzy and glamorous. Some are also known for their high roller rooms, where high-stakes gamblers can bet tens of thousands of dollars at a time. These high rollers are a key source of revenue for casinos, and they are given luxurious comps that include free spectacular entertainment, luxury hotel suites and transportation. Nevertheless, economic studies have shown that casinos do not bring much in new revenue to the cities they are located in; the cost of treating compulsive gamblers and lost productivity from their addiction largely offsets any gambling gains.