A casino is an establishment that offers a variety of games of chance and provides the opportunity to win money or prizes. It also may provide food and drink services and stage shows. The word casino may also refer to:
Casinos earn money by charging a percentage of bets placed on their machines or tables. This charge is known as the vig or the house edge. The advantage can be as small as two percent, but over time it adds up to millions of dollars. In addition to this “vig”, casinos collect a percentage of winning bets, or a “rake” from table games like blackjack and roulette.
In the United States, Las Vegas has the largest concentration of casinos. Other major gaming centers include Atlantic City, New Jersey; Chicago; and Reno, Nevada. In addition, many Native American tribes operate casinos in the United States.
Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, in collusion or independently; most casinos have extensive security measures. In addition to cameras that monitor all areas of the casino, some have special systems for supervising individual games. These may include “chip tracking,” in which chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with systems that record the exact amount of money wagered minute by minute; and electronic monitoring of roulette wheels to quickly discover any statistical deviation from expected results.
Casinos also give free goods or services to a portion of their customers, called comps. These can include meals, hotel rooms, tickets to shows, and even limo service and airline tickets for high-spending players.