What is a Casino?
A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming establishment, is a place where people can gamble on various games. These include card games, dice games and other games of chance. In some casinos, players can also place bets on sports events. Most casinos are regulated by government agencies. Some are combined with hotels, restaurants and other tourist attractions.
Casinos make money by giving out complimentary items (called comps) to big bettors, or by charging for drinks and cigarettes while they gamble. They also earn money from a commission on games of chance such as poker, in which the house takes a percentage of each bet, called the rake.
Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, in collusion or independently. To combat this, many casinos have security measures in place. For example, video cameras are regularly used to monitor the activities of patrons and staff; the movement of betting chips with built-in microcircuitry enables casinos to oversee exactly how much is wagered minute by minute; and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviation from expected results.
In the past, organized crime figures supplied the money for some casinos, and even took sole or partial ownership of them. This gave casinos a seamy reputation, which they have worked hard to shake off in recent decades. Many casinos have shifted their image to attract more mainstream tourists, and have added entertainment venues such as shows and night clubs.