What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers the chance to win money by playing games of chance. The modern casino has evolved from primitive protodice (cut knuckle bones) and carved six-sided dice found in ancient archaeological sites to a complex collection of games, including slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and baccarat. Modern casinos also feature musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels. While these attractions help to attract gamblers, the majority of casino profits come from game play.

Casinos are found around the world and have a very distinct look and feel. In the United States, casinos are almost always located in a state that allows legal gambling. In Europe, they have a more varied history, but most countries in the region changed their laws in the late 20th century to allow them.

Most modern casinos use a variety of security measures to deter cheating and stealing by patrons. These include specialized cameras that monitor all activity in the casino, allowing security personnel to watch every table, switch window and doorway from a room filled with banks of security monitors. In addition, many casinos have “chip tracking” systems that let them know exactly how much is being wagered minute-by-minute at each game; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviations from their expected results.

Because of the large amount of money that is handled in casinos, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other people or independently. For this reason, casinos spend a great deal of time and money on security measures.