What Is a Casino?
A casino or gaming house is an establishment for certain types of gambling. The name is a portmanteau of the French words for “house” and Latin for “game.” In the United States, casinos are most often located in or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, convention centers, and other tourist attractions. They usually feature a large number of gaming tables and slot machines. Some casinos also offer sports betting and horse racing.
Casinos make their money by taking a commission on bets, known as the vig or rake, and offering complimentary items to players. They may also generate revenue from non-gambling entertainment such as live performances, top-notch hotels, and spas.
Because of the large amount of money involved, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently; this is why casinos invest so much in security measures. The most basic measure is a network of cameras throughout the casino. In addition, some casinos have specialized systems such as “chip tracking,” which uses microcircuitry to monitor betting patterns; and electronic monitoring of roulette wheels to discover any statistical deviations from normal behavior.
The largest casinos in the world feature impressive size and decor, a mindblowing selection of games, and other amenities. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, for example, began as a playground for European royalty and the aristocracy 150 years ago, and it still attracts well-heeled visitors from around the world to its gambling facilities.