What Is a Casino?

A casino, also known as a gaming house or a gambling establishment, is a place where people can play games of chance or skill for money. These facilities are often built near or combined with hotels and restaurants. Gambling can be addictive, so it is important to know your limits and gamble responsibly.

There are over 1,000 casinos around the world, from grand Las Vegas resorts to tiny neighborhood casinos. Some are famous for their fountain shows or architectural beauty, like the Bellagio in Sin City or the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco. Others are renowned for their customer service or the variety of entertainment options they offer, like the Casino Lisboa in Lisbon or the Casino Baden-Baden in Germany.

Typically, casino games provide the house with a predictable long-term advantage, which is known as the “house edge” or vigorish. However, some casino games have a skill element, and players with sufficient skills can eliminate this advantage. These players are referred to as advantage players. Casinos may hire gaming mathematicians and computer programmers to design their games.

Security in a casino is usually divided between a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. The former patrols the casino and responds to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. The latter monitors the casino’s closed circuit television system, known as the eye in the sky. Casinos have found that this type of surveillance has been very effective in reducing crime in their facilities.