What is a casino?

Casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance, and some that have an element of skill. Casinos are typically built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping and other tourist attractions. Some casinos also offer live entertainment events such as concerts and stand-up comedy. The casino industry is a major component of the hospitality industry and is regulated by government oversight agencies, such as the Casino Control Commission.

Most casino games have a mathematical expectation of losing money for players, although some games such as blackjack and video poker have a house edge that is slightly positive. Casinos are profitable when they offer a wide variety of table and slot games to attract different types of customers.

Something about gambling (maybe it’s the presence of large amounts of money) encourages people to cheat and steal, so casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security. Many modern casinos have a physical security force that patrols the building, and a specialized department that monitors closed circuit television, sometimes using a high-tech “eye in the sky” system that can adjust to focus on suspicious patrons.

In the beginning, most casinos were owned and operated by gangsters who wanted to take advantage of people’s addiction to gambling. However, real estate investors and hotel chains soon realized the potential profits and bought out the mobsters. Today, casinos are run by huge companies like Donald Trump and the Hilton hotel chain.