What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and, in some cases, a small amount of skill. It can be quite luxurious, with restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to draw in customers. It has also been less glamorous, with simpler places that house only the games of chance and no other entertainment.

Casinos are usually heavily guarded against cheating, theft and other criminal activities. The patterns of game play and the expected reactions of players are well established, making it easier for security staff to spot anything out of the ordinary. Casinos are also wired with special technology that allows them to monitor game play minute by minute and quickly discover statistical deviations.

The house edge, or expected value, of a particular game gives the casino a virtual assurance that it will make a certain percentage of total turnover from gamblers’ bets. This calculation is performed by mathematicians who specialize in gaming analysis.

Something about gambling (maybe it’s the presence of large amounts of money) seems to encourage people to try to rig the game, steal or cheat. It’s no wonder casinos spend so much time and money on security.

The most famous casino is the one at Monte-Carlo, which opened in 1863 and attracts royalty and European aristocracy. However, it’s not the only glamorous casino in town. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, in Germany’s Black Forest, is renowned for its casino, which was declared by Marlene Dietrich to be the world’s most beautiful.