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What is a Casino?


A Casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance, and in some cases skill, to its customers. It makes its money by taking a percentage of the wagers placed on games like blackjack, roulette, and video poker, as well as from games played against the house, such as craps and baccarat, where the house has a built-in advantage that can be mathematically determined. This advantage is called the house edge, and it ensures that the casino will eventually make a profit on all the money wagered by its customers.

Although casinos employ many different strategies to attract and keep gamblers, such as musical shows, lighted fountains, and shopping centers, they would not exist without the games of chance themselves. Slot machines, table games like blackjack and craps, and other gambling activities such as keno and baccarat supply the billions in profits that casinos rake in each year.

Because of the large amount of money handled by casino employees and patrons alike, the casinos require a high level of security to prevent cheating and stealing. Some of the more sophisticated casinos use cameras that give them a “eye in the sky” to watch all the action, and specialized surveillance personnel are assigned to each game area. In addition to surveillance, casinos employ a wide variety of rules to protect against players and dealers cheating or stealing from one another, either in collusion or independently. These rules include requiring players to keep their cards visible at all times and not exposing them to other players, a practice known as palming.