What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. In addition to offering traditional table games such as blackjack and roulette, some casinos also offer electronic gaming machines and video poker. Many of these are combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. Casinos are operated by governments, private investors, or Native American tribes and are often located on reservations. They may be operated as stand-alone facilities or in conjunction with hotels, other casinos, or even cruise ships.

Casinos have a reputation for being glamorous and exciting places to gamble. This is partly due to the fact that many are themed after famous cities and locales, such as Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, which is designed to resemble an ancient Roman city (hence the name). Some feature elaborate entertainment venues where famous entertainers perform, such as Frank Sinatra’s former lounge at the Riviera.

Most casino games have a significant element of chance, but some allow for skillful play that can reduce the house’s long-term advantage. This is particularly true of card games such as baccarat, trente et quarante in France, blackjack and poker. In these games, the house usually takes a percentage of each player’s bets or charges an hourly fee for playing.

Because of the high amount of money that is handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. To counter this, casinos have various security measures in place. These can include a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments.