What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment offering table games such as blackjack and roulette, as well as slot machines and other electronic gaming devices. In addition, some casinos feature shows and other entertainment events. Casinos are also found on American Indian reservations, which are exempt from state antigambling laws.

Although the term casino may conjure images of glitzy Las Vegas gambling dens, the concept is more widespread than one might imagine. While elaborate hotels and theme parks help attract patrons, casinos are mostly built to generate profits from games of chance. Slot machines, craps, baccarat, poker and other table games provide the billions in revenue raked in by U.S. casinos each year.

While some patrons will be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with staff or independently, most casinos have security measures designed to deter such behavior. The most obvious precaution is the use of surveillance cameras. These cameras, often positioned in the ceilings, offer a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of every table, window and doorway. In some casinos, chips with microcircuitry allow them to be tracked minute-by-minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored for statistical deviations from expectations.

In addition to these measures, many casinos employ a variety of other methods to keep their patrons happy and to discourage cheating and theft. They offer complimentary drinks, stage shows and other entertainment to create a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. They also offer a range of dining options to satisfy different tastes.