What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance for money. In some countries, casinos are operated by government-regulated organizations. Others are owned by private businesses, such as hotels or restaurant chains. Many casinos offer a wide variety of games, and some even feature horse racing and other types of live entertainment.

Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. Therefore, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security measures. These include everything from a simple camera located throughout the facility to high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” systems that monitor every table, window and doorway. Casino employees also watch over the gaming tables, ensuring that no one is palming or marking cards or switching dice. Each employee has a higher-up supervisor who keeps track of them and watches for betting patterns that could indicate cheating.

The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden became a playground for European royalty and the aristocracy 150 years ago, but it still draws world travelers to its lavish rooms and plethora of poker and blackjack tables. The resort’s casino, designed by Mario Botta, is a nine-story jewel that opens onto a terrace overlooking Lake Lugano and the mountains of Switzerland.

The house edge in a casino is the amount of money that the casino expects to lose on each bet. The advantage is based on the mathematically determined odds of each game and can vary from game to game. Casinos make their money by taking a percentage of the winning bets or by charging a fee called the vig or rake, depending on the game.