What is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. It may be part of a larger resort complex featuring hotels, restaurants and retail shops or it might stand alone. A casino may offer a variety of games that require skill, chance or both and is operated by one or more live croupiers. The term is also used for games that are played on a table, such as poker and other card games. Some casinos specialize in a particular type of game, such as baccarat.

Each game offered by a casino has a built in statistical advantage for the house. These advantages can be small, but over time they add up to a substantial gross profit for the casino. To ensure that they meet or exceed their expected profit, casinos charge a percentage of each bet placed by patrons, known as the vig or rake.

Because of the vast sums of money handled by casinos, they are often targets for robbery and other criminal activities. To prevent this, casinos employ security measures such as closed circuit television and surveillance systems, as well as staff trained in recognizing suspicious behavior.

The most famous casino in the world is probably the Monte Carlo Casino, which first opened its doors to royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago. It retains much of its elegance today, and it attracts players from all over the world. Other top casinos include the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas, and the Casino de Paris on the French Riviera.