What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility where people can gamble for money using cards, dice, or other tokens as playing pieces. The games require strategic thinking, decision-making skills and luck as players attempt to beat the house edge (also known as the house advantage). In table games, players sit around a table that’s designed specifically for the game. The croupier or dealer enables the game and manages payments.

The most famous casinos are often portrayed in films and literature, with images of glamorous high-stakes gambling tables surrounded by an exclusive group of patrons in tuxedos and evening gowns. Many of these casinos are located in glitzy resort towns, with luxurious amenities and spectacular architecture that make them popular destinations for tourists and locals alike.

While the casinos provide a great source of entertainment and economic benefit to their host cities, they are not without controversy. Some economists argue that casino revenue shifts spending from other forms of local entertainment and that the cost of treating problem gambling addicts cancels out any economic gains casinos may bring.

Casinos employ a variety of security measures to ensure that their patrons are treated fairly. Some of these include a “eye-in-the-sky” surveillance system that allows security workers to monitor each casino room from a central control room. Cameras mounted in the ceiling watch every table, window and doorway, and can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons. In addition, casino security staff supervise the games themselves to check for blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards and dice.