A casino is an establishment that offers various gambling games. Some games are pure chance, others involve skill or are a combination of both. Examples include roulette, baccarat, blackjack, video poker, and craps. In addition to offering these games, casinos also offer dining, entertainment and lodging.
Casinos earn money by charging a fee on each bet placed on their games. This fee is known as the vig or house edge and it can be very small — lower than two percent — but it adds up over time as millions of bets are made. The vig helps casinos cover their costs and affords them the luxury of adding glitzy hotel suites, fountains and replicas of landmarks to their properties.
Because of the large amounts of cash handled in a casino, security is a high priority. Casino employees keep a close eye on patrons to make sure they are not cheating or stealing. Dealers are trained to look for blatant signs of cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards. Table managers and pit bosses watch over the table games with a broader view, checking for betting patterns that could indicate cheating.
Casinos are a major source of revenue for many governments. They pay a significant amount of tax on the gambling income they generate, often bringing in more money than the government’s other sources of revenue.