A casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of games of chance and sometimes skill. Unlike a gaming hall, which houses a few tables and slot machines, a casino is a large building with a wide variety of table games, including poker rooms and blackjack and roulette. Some casinos also offer non-gambling entertainment, such as restaurants and bars.
Casinos make money by taking a percentage of the bets placed by patrons, which is often called the house edge. This advantage can be a small percentage, but it adds up over the millions of bets made by players each year and allows casinos to finance their elaborate fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. Casinos are also known for offering complimentary items or comps to gamblers.
Security is another big part of the casino business. Many casino employees have a close eye on the patrons, watching them for blatant cheating like palming, marking or switching cards or dice. Casinos are able to monitor patrons with a high-tech “eye in the sky” system that uses cameras mounted in the ceiling to watch every table, window and doorway.
While the idea of a casino has grown to include hotel rooms, restaurants and non-gambling entertainment, the name itself dates back to an ancient Latin term for public house. It is also referred to as a saloon, gaming room and brothel. The casino has become a major tourist attraction and draws visitors from all over the world.