What is a Casino?


A casino is a room or building where gambling games are played. The precise origin of gambling is not known, but it is believed to have existed in some form throughout history. The modern casino is usually connected to a hotel and/or resort, and it may also contain restaurants, bars, retail shopping, and/or other tourist attractions. Many casinos are located in the United States, and a number of them are operated by Native American tribes.

Casinos use a variety of methods to ensure fair play and prevent cheating. During the 1990s casinos dramatically increased their use of technology to supervise and audit their own games. For example, chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with electronic systems in the tables to enable the casinos to oversee the exact amounts wagered minute by minute and to warn staff of any anomaly; roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover quickly any statistical deviation from their expected results.

Casino games are typically based on chance, although some involve an element of skill. Most casino games have mathematically determined odds that give the house a uniformly negative expected value (from the player’s perspective), and this advantage is sometimes referred to as the “house edge.” Some casino card games, such as baccarat and chemin de fer, are designed to appeal to high-rollers and thus require large bets; others, like blackjack, are designed to attract small bettors. Casinos often profit from these games by taking a share of the money wagered, or by charging an hourly fee for playing time.

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