What is a Casino?

A casino (plural: casinos) is an establishment for gambling, usually with a theme and often combined with hotels, restaurants, shopping centers, and other entertainment. The word casino is derived from the Latin word casino, which means “gambling house.” The casino industry is a major source of revenue for some governments, and its operation promotes tourism in some places.

Table games such as blackjack, roulette and craps are popular with gamblers. In some casinos, the tables are surrounded by spectators who cheer on the players. Casinos may also offer far eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow. Casinos may have elaborate security measures to prevent cheating and stealing by patrons. Many are equipped with video cameras that watch every table, window and doorway. Security personnel can adjust the cameras to focus on suspicious patrons.

During the 1990s, casino operators dramatically increased their use of technology to monitor games, prevent fraud and ensure that all regulations are being followed. For example, chip tracking enables casinos to know precisely how much money is being wagered minute by minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored and quickly discover any statistical deviations from their expected results.

If you have a question about casino rules or strategy, ask a casino employee. They see thousands of people gambling each week and might be able to tell you which machines are “hot” or offer the best odds. However, keep in mind that it is against company policy to divulge this information, so be sure to tip them generously if they do help you.