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What Is a Casino?

A casino (also known as a gambling house or a gaming room) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos feature live entertainment. In military and non-military usage, a casino may also refer to an officers’ mess or a clubhouse for soldiers or sailors.

Casinos make money by giving their patrons a small advantage over the house. That edge can be as low as two percent, but over millions of bets it earns the casinos billions in profits every year. These profits give them the funds to build magnificent hotels, dazzling fountains and towering replicas of famous landmarks like pyramids and castles.

Most states regulate the use of casinos by setting minimum age requirements for gamblers, and most include statutory responsibility-gambling measures in their licensing conditions. Problem gambling is a major concern, and many casinos feature signs to raise awareness and provide information on how to get help.

Most casinos have security departments that enforce rules and regulations, and they employ a variety of technology to monitor the games and patrons. Video cameras are used to monitor the gambling floor for blatant cheating like palming or marking cards, and roulette wheels have electronic monitoring systems that quickly reveal any statistical deviations from normal operation. Casinos have also made extensive use of “chip tracking” technology, in which betting chips are wired with microcircuitry to allow the casino to track exactly how much is wagered minute by minute.