What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility where people can gamble and play games of chance. It features a variety of slot machines, table games and video poker. Some casinos also feature a luxury hotel and restaurants. Casinos can be found worldwide. They have become popular in the United States, especially since they became legalized in the state of Nevada in 1978. Many American Indian reservations have casinos, as do a number of cities in the U.S. Casinos are also common in Europe and Asia, as well as the Middle East.

Unlike most gambling establishments, casinos have a business model built into them that ensures the house will always win in the long run. The house advantage is mathematically determined for each game and is known as the house edge. It is this built-in advantage that provides the billions in profits for casinos each year.

In order to keep their edge, casinos offer a variety of incentives to large bettors. These include free rooms, spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation and other luxurious perks. Casinos also take a percentage of each wager, a charge known as the rake.

While some may believe that casinos are a great source of fun, there is a dark side to the business. Despite the fact that some casino customers may enjoy their time at the tables or slots, others have serious problems with gambling and cause damage to local businesses and economies. Many casinos have a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments. They are constantly monitoring their patrons and are able to respond quickly when suspicious or definite criminal activity is detected.