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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. It can be as simple as a room in your local bar, or as elaborate as the mega-resorts built on the Strip in Nevada and on American Indian reservations. While music and stage shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers, restaurants and hotels all contribute to the billions of dollars casinos earn annually from patrons, they would not exist without gambling games. These include poker, blackjack, craps, baccarat and video poker. There are even games that involve little skill, such as sic bo and fan-tan (two-up), which you can find at many Asian casinos.

Something about the nature of casino gambling seems to encourage cheating and stealing, either in collusion with other patrons or on a standalone basis. That’s why casinos spend a large amount of money on security measures. Security personnel keep a close eye on the gambling floor, spotting anything that looks out of the ordinary. Casinos also have table managers and pit bosses who watch over the games with a broader view, looking for things like betting patterns that indicate cheating.

Despite the fact that casino patrons have a mathematical expectation of losing their bets, it’s not uncommon for them to win big. That’s why high-rollers are given special treatment, including free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation and elegant living quarters. Casinos are also open to anyone who wants to gamble, so long as they are of legal age to do so.