A casino is a gambling establishment that houses various games of chance and offers the gambler a variety of entertainment options. In addition to a wide selection of gambling machines and tables, many casinos also feature top-notch restaurants, free drinks, stage shows, hotels and other amenities that attract visitors from all over the world.
The word casino derives from the Italian casona, meaning “house of fun.” In modern usage, casinos have become a major tourist attraction and are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and even cruise ships. In the United States, they are regulated by state laws. A casino may also refer to a gaming establishment operated by a Native American tribe.
Like any other business, a casino must make money to stay in business. The house has a built in advantage on most games, and this is sometimes known as the “house edge.” In some games, the difference between the house edge and the expected value of bets is small; in others, it can be quite large. Casinos earn the majority of their revenue from slot machines.
As with all businesses, casino employees must be trained to spot cheating. Dealers keep their eyes peeled for blatant tactics such as palming, marking or switching cards or dice, and pit bosses watch over table games with a wider view to prevent players from placing bets in certain patterns that could signal cheating. Security personnel also work to make sure that casino patrons are not taking prohibited items into the gambling areas.