What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is a building where people can gamble and play games of chance. It may also host live entertainment such as musical shows and stand up comedy, and other entertainment such as sports events. Many casinos are located in resorts, hotels or other tourist attractions.

Casinos generate revenue through a variety of methods, but the vast majority of their profits come from gambling. Each game that a casino offers has a mathematically determined house edge, which can be as low as two percent but adds up over time. In addition, casinos charge customers to play their games, usually a small percentage of each bet. In table games such as poker, the casino takes a commission known as the rake, and in slot machines or video poker the casino charges a fee called the vigorish or vig.

Most modern casinos offer a wide selection of gambling games, and some are specialized in certain games. In the United States, traditional games like blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat dominate, but in other countries, casinos offer more exotic offerings such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai-gow.

Casinos are heavily regulated to ensure fair play and protect patrons’ money and personal information. Security starts on the casino floor, where employees keep a close eye on players to spot any suspicious behavior. Cameras on the ceiling look down, through one way glass, on the activity in the slot machines, while pit bosses and table managers oversee the tables with a broader view.