What is a Casino?


A Casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance for money. It may be a public house that adds food, drinks and stage shows to attract customers, or it may be a private club for high-rollers who spend much of their time gambling. Casinos have many different games, but some of them are very similar – all of them offer the house an advantage over players (called an expected value). Casino patrons who don’t lose more than they win generate substantial profits for casinos. Casinos also earn revenue from other sources, such as room rates and dining and entertainment. But the lion’s share of the profit comes from the games.

While gambling predates recorded history, the modern casino began to develop in Europe during the 16th century as a fad for gambling swept across society. Rich Italian nobles would gather at these venues called ridotti to enjoy a variety of different gambling activities under one roof.

Modern casinos use sophisticated technology to monitor the games themselves, ensuring fairness and security. For example, chips with built-in microcircuitry connect to systems that oversee the exact amount wagered minute-by-minute and alert staff to any discrepancy; roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover statistical deviations quickly.

Aside from the actual games, a key component of casino profits is comping (giving free goods or services to regular customers). For example, gamblers who spend significant amounts of time at the tables and on slot machines are often given complimentary food and drink, tickets to shows and even hotel rooms and limousine service.