What Is a Casino?


A casino, a gaming establishment, offers gamblers the opportunity to win money or goods by betting on various random events. These events can include the roll of a dice, a spin of a wheel or the flip of a card. In addition to gambling games, casinos may also offer other forms of entertainment, such as musical shows or shopping centers. Casinos earn billions of dollars in profits every year from their guests’ wagers.

In modern casinos, video cameras and computer systems routinely supervise the games themselves to detect any statistical deviations from expected results. For example, in “chip tracking,” betting chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with electronic systems in the tables to enable casinos to oversee the precise amounts wagered minute-by-minute and to be warned immediately of any unusual activity. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored regularly to discover any erratic spinning. Casinos also employ a variety of other techniques to keep their patrons safe and honest, including surveillance cameras, metal detectors and eavesdropping devices.

Although many people associate casino gambling with the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas, the first legal casinos opened long ago, in places like Iowa, New Jersey and even the elegant spa town of Baden-Baden in Germany. In those early days, the mob controlled much of the industry, but federal crackdowns on organized crime and the threat of losing a license to operate a casino at the slightest hint of Mafia involvement forced the gangsters out and legit casinos in.