What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where people can play games of chance and earn money. Some casinos specialize in one type of game, while others offer a more diverse selection. Common games include roulette, blackjack, video poker and craps. Some casinos also feature concerts and other entertainment. Some are located in resorts, while others are stand-alone buildings.

Gambling has a long history, and the modern casino has developed many sophisticated security measures. Casinos are heavily regulated and audited by state and federal authorities. They also have high-tech surveillance systems, and some use computerized gaming machines. These systems can track the amount of money being wagered minute-by-minute, and they can quickly detect any statistical deviations from expected results.

Casinos make money by charging a percentage of each wager to the players, referred to as a house edge. They also charge a commission on bets placed in poker games where players play each other, known as rake. Casinos may also give away complimentary items or comps to gamblers.

Historically, casinos were patronized by organized crime figures, who funded operations through extortion, smuggling and drug dealing. Mobster money helped to create the glamour of Las Vegas and Reno, but it also contributed to the seamy image of gambling. Today, casino owners seek out the money of wealthy individuals and corporations, which they often reward with free or discounted services. However, gambling can also lead to a sedentary lifestyle and can contribute to obesity, heart disease, diabetes and depression.