What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance, such as slot machines, poker, blackjack, roulette and craps. It is a large, multi-level building that often includes restaurants, shopping, and entertainment. It is also a popular tourist destination in many parts of the world.


Gambling in casinos provides the casino with billions of dollars in profits each year. It is a big business, and casinos are built with the profit margin in mind. The main reason for this is because gambling has a built in advantage for the casino, called the house edge. This advantage gives the casino a slight advantage over its customers and helps them earn the money to pay for all the expensive amenities that they have.

The games of chance that casinos offer are designed to appeal to the five senses, from the sounds they make to the light that they emit. A variety of different noises and music are played at slot machines and gaming tables, and the lighting is changed constantly to keep the place looking fresh and appealing.


Modern casinos have elaborate security systems to prevent crime. They employ a physical security force to patrol the building and respond to calls for assistance and reports of suspicious activity. They also have specialized surveillance personnel who monitor video feeds and operate the closed circuit television system.

Security cameras are placed in the ceiling above each table and doorway to watch over the entire casino. The cameras are adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. The video feeds are recorded, so if a crime is committed or a cheat is detected, the casino can find out who did it.


The most basic steps in casino safety involve making sure that the building is clean and that no one is drinking in the public areas or trying to take advantage of a patron. In addition, surveillance is conducted on the casino floor and at each game. This involves dealers and pit bosses keeping their eyes on the games and on the patrons. They can spot any blatant cheating like palming, marking, switching cards or dice, or gambling on other players’ winnings.

Some casinos have catwalks that rise above the casino floor, which allow surveillance personnel to look directly down through one-way glass on the activities at the tables and slot machines. These cameras are often set to record every minute, and if they detect any suspicious activity they can then alert the specialized surveillance department to the problem.

A casino’s security is a top priority and is often divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The specialized surveillance department is responsible for monitoring the video feeds from the security camera systems, and works closely with the physical security force to ensure that everyone in the casino is safe at all times.

A casino’s security is important not only for the safety of its guests, but for the financial stability of the establishment. The vig, or the house advantage, on every game is calculated by mathematicians and computer programmers, and the casino has to be aware of both the vig and the variance of its games. This allows the casino to know how much profit it will make and how long they will need to have cash reserves available.