What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It is also known as a gaming house or a gambling hall. Casinos are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. In the United States, there are over 1,000 casinos. The largest concentration is in Las Vegas, Nevada. However, Atlantic City, New Jersey and Chicago are significant casino centers as well. Some state governments regulate and license casinos. Other governments prohibit or restrict casino gambling.

Because of the large amounts of currency handled, casinos are vulnerable to theft and cheating by patrons and employees. Security measures include cameras and other electronic monitoring devices. Some casinos use chips with built-in microcircuitry that allow them to monitor bets minute by minute; others regularly check the results of roulette wheels and dice to discover any deviation from expected values. Many casino patrons are addicted to gambling and generate a disproportionate share of profits for the casinos: five percent of casino revenue comes from these “problem” gamblers. This profit is known as the vig or rake.

Although most people associate casinos with glamorous places like Monte-Carlo, Monaco and Singapore, they can be found in a variety of locations. The largest casino in the world is the Venetian Macao in China. London, England, has a number of notable casinos, including the three-story Empire Casino in Leicester Square and the Victoria Casino in Paddington. Other popular gambling destinations include Atlantic City, New Jersey; Biloxi, Mississippi; and Detroit, Michigan.