What is a Casino?



A casino is a popular establishment that houses gambling-related activities and entertainment. It may offer prime dining and beverage services, and performance venues that feature pop, rock, jazz, and other artists. It may also have a poker room, a number of casino slots and other electronic games, and a sports book. The modern casino is much like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the bulk of its entertainment (and profits for the owner) coming from gambling. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers, lavish hotels and elaborate themes help draw in the guests, but casinos would not exist without games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and other games provide the billions of dollars in profits that casinos rake in every year.

Casinos make money by charging patrons a small percentage of the total amount bet on each game, which is known as the house edge or casino advantage. This is usually no more than two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed by players each year. This virtual assurance of gross profit allows casinos to afford to offer big bettors extravagant inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment and transportation, elegant living quarters, reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms, free drinks and cigarettes while gambling, and other treats. In addition, casinos often impose rules on the players that must be followed in order to ensure that the house edge is not violated. This is done to maintain the integrity of the games and prevent them from becoming unprofitable for the casino.