What Is a Casino?



A casino is a gambling establishment offering a wide variety of gaming options to its patrons. It may also offer restaurants, hotels, non-gambling game rooms and other entertainment. In the United States, the Las Vegas Valley has the highest concentration of casinos. Other major casino markets include Atlantic City, New Jersey and Chicago.

A casino’s primary source of revenue is from the sale of gaming chips that have a built-in house edge. These edge amounts can be small, but they add up over the millions of bets placed each year by casino patrons. In addition to the games of chance, many casinos also offer a range of other entertainment offerings, including musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers.

The precise origin of gambling is unknown, but it has long been a popular pasttime in many cultures around the world. The first modern casinos grew out of European gambling houses, which were licensed and regulated by the government. By the second half of the 20th century, nearly all countries changed their laws to allow casinos.

Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff are occasionally tempted to cheat and steal. This is why many casinos have extensive security measures in place. These may include security cameras and other technological systems. In addition, most casinos have strict rules for player behavior, requiring them to keep their hands visible at all times during card games and to remain in view of the dealer at table games.