What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance can be played. The games are primarily gambling, with the exception of some that don’t involve a monetary exchange. Some casinos offer other activities, such as restaurants and free drinks. Other luxuries that casinos offer are stage shows and dramatic scenery. In the past, these places were simply called gambling houses or saloons.

Casinos have long had a bad reputation because of their link to organized crime. The mafia was a major investor in Reno and Las Vegas, buying up the property and operating the casino businesses with their own money. Legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved in the industry because of its tainted image.

Gambling is a serious business for casinos, with an average of 23% of their profits coming from it. The typical casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with an above-average income. Some casinos are designed to appeal to this group by offering special deals and entertainment for them.

Security is a top priority in a casino. A casino employs a variety of surveillance techniques to keep the gaming floor safe and clean. Floor supervisors watch the tables closely to spot blatant cheating such as palming, marking or switching cards or dice. Pit bosses and table managers have a broader view of the gaming area and can watch for betting patterns that might signal cheating. Cameras in the ceiling are able to zoom in on suspicious patrons.