What Is a Casino?


A casino is a large building where people gamble on games of chance and sometimes skill. Casinos are designed to be fun and exciting and they offer a variety of entertainment options including restaurants, night clubs, shopping and other non-gambling activities. They are a major source of revenue for many cities and states.

A casinos are places where large amounts of money change hands and people can be tempted to cheat or steal. For this reason, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security. They usually employ a mix of physical security and specialized surveillance departments. The latter operate a state-of-the-art closed circuit television system known as an eye in the sky that allows surveillance personnel to monitor every table, window and doorway in the casino.

Casinos also hire mathematicians to work out the house edge and variance of their games. These are the odds that the house will win, assuming it is the only player. Casinos use these figures to determine how much to invest in the games and how much cash they need on hand. They also inform their gambling policy.

Some casinos also give out free goods or services to their best players, called comps. These can include hotel rooms, meals and show tickets. A casino’s comp program is a good way to attract high rollers, who might otherwise go elsewhere. The best way to find out about casino comps is to ask at the information desk.