What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble. Casinos are generally open 24/7, have a variety of games to choose from, and offer food and drinks. They may be located in cities or on cruise ships. Some casinos also have shows and other entertainment options. Casinos are regulated by law and have security measures in place to prevent cheating and theft.

Most modern casinos have a physical security force to patrol the building and respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity, and a specialized surveillance department that operates the closed circuit television system, sometimes called the eye in the sky. In addition, casino employees watch the activities of patrons to spot blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards or dice and to look for betting patterns that could indicate collusion.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff members are tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To protect their investments, most casinos have a number of security measures in place.

In the past, Las Vegas casinos sought to maximize their profits by filling hotel rooms and the casino floor as much as possible with tourists. They offered discounted travel packages, free buffets and show tickets to attract as many customers as possible. Today, however, casinos are choosier about who they accept and concentrate their efforts on “high rollers.” These customers receive comps worth tens of thousands of dollars and are often given separate tables and luxurious treatment.