What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. It might also offer other attractions, like restaurants and free drinks, to attract patrons. Some casinos are huge entertainment complexes, such as the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which has a dancing fountain, high-end hotels and restaurants, and contemporary art installations.

In some countries, casinos are regulated by law. For example, in the United States, gambling is regulated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. People who are addicted to gambling may be banned from entering a casino or placed under supervision. Compulsive gamblers generate a significant percentage of casino profits and are considered a major risk to the financial viability of a gambling establishment. Some economists believe that the net impact of casinos on a community is negative, since they redirect spending away from other forms of entertainment and cause loss in productivity among local workers.

Something about gambling seems to encourage cheating, stealing and scamming. As a result, casinos spend much time and money on security. Security starts on the casino floor, where employees watch the patrons and game activities closely. Dealers and pit bosses have a broad view of table games, noting the patterns of betting to spot any illegitimate activity.

Other security measures include video cameras and electronic systems that monitor gambling equipment. Some casinos also employ “chip tracking,” in which betting chips have built-in microcircuitry to keep track of the amount of money wagered minute by minute and alert casino personnel to any statistical deviations from expected results.