What Is a Casino?


A casino, also called a gambling hall or a gaming room, is a place where people play games of chance for money. Most casinos feature slot machines, roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and craps. Many also have video poker and keno. Customers gamble by placing bets with chips that have a built-in microcircuitry and interact with electronic systems, which oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute and warn staff when there is a statistical deviation from expected results. Some casinos specialize in specific games and employ mathematicians to analyze the results of those games.

Because of the large amounts of money involved, both patrons and employees of a casino may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or independently. Therefore, most casinos have security measures to deter these activities. These measures include cameras that monitor the casino floor and specialized surveillance departments, known as eye in the sky, that can view activity in rooms without guests’ knowledge.

A casino can be located in a city, but most are situated in tourist areas such as Las Vegas and Atlantic City. They can be large complexes with multiple floors, a variety of table games and slots, as well as restaurants, hotels, and entertainment venues. A casino can also be a small building with several tables and a few slots. Some states have laws regulating the number of casinos, but others do not. Most of the larger casinos are owned by corporations that also operate other business establishments.