What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. These places often combine a large number of games with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, non-gambling halls, and even swimming pools. The biggest casinos can be incredibly elaborate, occupying entire city blocks and offering many different ways to gamble.

The casinos make their money by taking a percentage of the total bets, or rake, made by players. They also profit from the fact that most casino games have a mathematically determined house advantage (also called expected value) for the casino, which is uniformly negative from the player’s perspective. This can be measured either by the house edge for a particular game, or the variance of the casino’s profits over time, depending on the statistical analysis done by gaming mathematicians and software engineers.

To ensure that their profits continue, casinos are careful to monitor player behavior and implement rules aimed at preventing cheating and other undesirable activities. They have security personnel stationed around the casino, and cameras mounted in the ceiling provide a “view from above” that can be focused on suspicious patrons. Elaborate systems also allow for remote supervision of the games themselves; for example, betting chips have built-in microcircuitry that interacts with electronic systems in the tables, allowing casinos to keep track of exactly how much is being wagered minute by minute, and to quickly discover any deviation from expected results.

Casinos are also known for their perks designed to encourage large bets and reward loyal customers. These include free hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets, and limo service for high rollers.

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