What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment where people can gamble and play games of chance. It may also be called a gambling hall, gaming house or gaming arcade. Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, with music, lighted fountains and elaborate themes drawing in customers. However, the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling, with games like blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and slot machines providing the billions in profit that casinos rake in each year.

Beneath the flashing lights and free cocktails, a casino is essentially a machine engineered to slowly bleed its patrons of their hard-earned money. For this reason, casino games are designed with built-in advantages that ensure the house will ultimately win.

To protect their assets, casinos employ a variety of security measures. Typical measures include a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments. The latter typically operates a closed circuit television system known in the industry as “the eye in the sky.” These cameras, mounted on catwalks in the ceiling above the casino floor, allow surveillance staff to look down on the activity of the tables and slots through one way glass.

In addition to these high tech methods of surveillance, casinos use a wide range of strategies to encourage players to spend more than they intend to. These incentives, which are known as comps, often take the form of free show tickets, discounted hotel rooms and even free drinks while gambling. Many casinos also have no clocks on the casino floor, a deliberate move to make it easy for players to lose track of time and stay at the table for longer than they should.

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