What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility for gambling, which features a variety of games that depend mostly on chance and in some cases on skill. It may also feature a restaurant, bars, shops, and a spa. Some casinos are opulent glass-and-steel temples to overindulgence; others are elegantly themed and provide a refined experience. In either case, the games are only a part of what makes a casino worthwhile.

Besides games of chance, casinos often offer a variety of card and table games. They might also have video poker machines, and some even host major live poker events. Casinos use chips instead of actual money to make the players less concerned about how much they’re losing (chips can be tracked minute-by-minute, and casinos can track how much money is coming in and out). Many casinos also have ATM machines for those who want to withdraw money.

Despite all the attractions, a casino is not without dangers for its patrons and employees. Both can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. Consequently, most casinos employ a number of security measures. For example, tables are monitored by pit bosses and managers, who can spot blatant cheating like palming or marking cards. In addition, a high-tech eye-in-the-sky surveillance system can monitor all of a casino’s tables and other areas with ease. This is done by cameras with specialized circuitry, which are monitored from a room filled with banks of security monitors.