What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building where gambling games like blackjack, poker and roulette are played. The modern casino adds a host of luxuries to lure in customers like restaurants, shopping centers and stage shows, but the majority of its profits still come from games of chance. Casinos are known for their bright and sometimes gaudy decor, which is meant to stimulate the senses of sight and sound and entice people into betting more money. Humans are naturally drawn to bright lights and colors, which is why so many casinos use the color red, a color that has been shown to make gamblers lose track of time.

Most casinos are banked, meaning the house takes a percentage of the money wagered. This advantage is mathematically determined for each game and can be expressed as an expected value or more precisely as a negative number. Casinos may also offer nonbanked games such as keno and roulette. In these games, the casino makes its profit by reducing the payout or charging an hourly fee to players.

A casino’s security is typically divided between a physical force that patrols the premises and a specialized surveillance department that operates closed circuit television. The two departments work closely together and are quick to respond to reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. In addition to these specialized security forces, most casinos have a customer service department that offers perks such as free food and drinks and discounted transportation or hotel rooms to keep patrons coming back for more.