What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people gamble on games of chance. Casinos often offer other forms of entertainment as well, such as stage shows and free drinks. They may also have restaurants, hotel rooms and shopping areas. Casinos can be found all over the world, from glamorous Las Vegas strip resorts to smaller neighborhood gambling houses.

A casino has a variety of security measures to prevent cheating and theft by both patrons and employees. Security cameras are everywhere, and staff watch for suspicious betting patterns or crooked dealers. Many casinos have an employee who oversees the whole floor, watching for blatant cheating like palming cards or marking dice. Other security measures include the use of bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings, such as red, that are believed to make people lose track of time. In addition, casino floors are usually smoke-free and there are no clocks on the walls.

In the 1990s, casinos increased their use of technology for general security and in supervising specific gaming activities. For example, chips with built-in microcircuitry can be used to track the exact amounts wagered minute by minute; roulette wheels are monitored electronically to discover any statistical deviation from their expected results; and video cameras give a high-tech “eye in the sky” view of every table, window and doorway in a casino. Casinos also offer comps, or complimentary goods and services, to big gamblers. These can include free hotel rooms, tickets to shows, reduced-fare transportation and limo service.