What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are usually combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and/or other tourist attractions. In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state governments. The largest concentration of casinos is in Las Vegas, Nevada, where they are a major economic catalyst and an important source of jobs. Other notable casino destinations include Atlantic City, New Jersey; Chicago; and Macau in China. The best casinos offer an array of luxurious amenities, including top-notch hotels and spas, live entertainment, and top-rated restaurants.

A number of casino games have an element of player skill, such as blackjack and poker, but most are based on pure chance or random number generation. The house advantage, a mathematical certainty, is figured into each game and may vary from game to game. The house edge of table games is lower than that of slot machines.

The house advantage of games with an element of skill is influenced by the rules of the game, the type and number of decks used, and the minimum and maximum bets allowed. Skilled players can reduce the house edge by understanding and employing basic strategy.

Most American casinos have slots and video poker machines, which generate the majority of the revenue for the casino. Other popular casino games include roulette, craps, and baccarat. Some casinos also feature traditional Far Eastern games, such as sic bo (which became popular in European and American casinos during the 1990s) and fan-tan.