A casino (or gaming house, or gambling hall) is an establishment where people can gamble. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as poker, baccarat, blackjack and roulette. Others offer a more varied selection, including slot machines, craps and keno. Casinos often combine entertainment and gambling, with shows and restaurants. They may also offer hotel rooms and retail shops. The term is most commonly associated with Las Vegas, although there are casinos in many other places, including Reno and Atlantic City.
While musical shows, lighted fountains, luxurious hotels and elaborate themes help lure customers, a casino’s primary business is gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, craps, baccarat and other casino games provide the billions in profits that make up the vast majority of a casino’s annual revenues.
Despite the apparent reliance on luck, there are some strategies that a gambler can use to improve his or her chances of winning. However, the casino’s built-in advantage ensures that it will always win in the long run.
Because large amounts of money are handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or independently. To counter this, most casinos employ a variety of security measures. These range from cameras throughout the facility to highly trained personnel who watch the games and players. In addition, the most important games are wired so that the outcome is electronically monitored and recorded.