What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play games of chance and gamble. It can range from massive resorts and hotel casinos to small card rooms. Some casinos feature stage shows, free drinks and other amenities to attract customers. But no matter how many perks they add, the fundamental idea is that it’s a place where gambling takes place.

Whether it’s a game of roulette, blackjack, poker or video poker, most casino games have built-in advantages that guarantee the house will win. These advantages, called house edges or expected value, are mathematically determined and reflected in the odds for each game. Casinos earn money by taking a percentage of the bets made by patrons, which is usually collected in the form of a rake or commission.

While some casino owners try to downplay the role of luck, others are quick to point out that gambling is a serious business with a lot at stake. In addition to the billions in annual profits, successful casinos bring in millions of dollars in taxes and fees for local governments, businesses and tribes.

The average casino customer is a middle-class family woman over the age of forty-five. She lives in a home with an above-average income and has more vacation time and available spending money than younger adults. According to research by Roper Reports, GfK NOP and TNS, 23% of American adults have visited a casino. Most play games of chance, such as roulette and craps, where the house advantage is less than one percent. Other popular casino games are poker, baccarat and slot machines.