A casino (also known as a gambling house or gaming establishment) is an establishment where various types of gambling activities are carried out. Casinos are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and cruise ships. In some countries, casinos are legalized and regulated by government authorities.
A major source of revenue for a casino is the collection of betting or wagering fees, also called vigorish or rake. This money is taken from the pot after each game, or as a percentage of the total amount wagered on the games, and it gives the house an edge over the players. Casinos may also offer comps, or complimentary items or services, to players, such as meals, drinks, rooms, tickets to shows and limo service.
Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, patrons and employees alike are sometimes tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. To combat this, security measures are usually high and include cameras throughout the building, as well as electronic systems that oversee the exact amounts wagered minute-by-minute, and can quickly discover any statistical deviation from expected results.
Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks for adults, but the vast majority of their profits come from gambling on games of chance, such as slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker and craps. This article looks at the history of casino gambling, the most popular games and how they work, the dark side of the business, and how casinos stay safe.