What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment with a variety of games where patrons place wagers on various random outcomes or combinations of outcomes. Casinos also often have other entertainment offerings such as concerts and shows. The gambling operations are regulated by government bodies to ensure honesty and integrity. The largest casinos in the world are in Las Vegas, with a number of large ones in Macau and elsewhere.

A large casino complex often contains a hotel, restaurants and other facilities. Some casinos, such as the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco, are famous worldwide and have been featured in a number of films. Modern casinos typically offer gaming machines, table games and random number games. Gaming machines are primarily operated by computer and do not require the presence of casino employees, while table games, such as poker and blackjack, involve human dealers and players. Casinos employ a combination of physical security forces and a specialized surveillance department to protect their guests and property.

Like any other business, casinos must make a profit to survive and maintain their facilities. To achieve this goal, they have built-in advantages, known as the house edge or vigorish, that ensure that in the long run they will make a profit. These advantages are based on the mathematical expectancy of each game, and casinos use them to calculate the expected return on investment for each bet placed by a patron. In order to minimize their advantage, casinos reduce the house edge for certain games, such as roulette, to attract small bettors. This is done by lowering the expected house return to less than 1 percent, and in many cases even lower.