A casino (also known as a gaming house or gambling hall) is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are most often associated with Las Vegas and other places that promote gambling as a major tourist attraction, but they can be found in many other cities and countries as well. Many casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, including concerts and stand-up comedy.
Casinos make money by charging an “advantage” to gamblers, based on the odds of winning or losing. Every game has a built in statistical advantage for the casino, and while that margin may be small, it adds up over the millions of bets placed by patrons each year. The advantage is typically built into the pay out schedule of the game, although it can be varied for different games and for different patrons.
Something about gambling seems to encourage cheating and dishonesty, which is why casinos spend a large amount of time and money on security. Modern casinos typically employ a combination of a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The physical security force patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, while the specialized surveillance department operates the cameras that monitor the casino’s electronic systems.
In addition to gambling, many casinos offer hotels, restaurants, non-gambling game rooms, and other amenities to appeal to a wide range of visitors. They are also a frequent site for special events such as conventions and weddings.