What Is a Casino?
A Casino is a place where the activity of gambling takes place. This can range from the elaborate Las Vegas casinos to the pai gow tables in New York’s Chinatown, but the concept is the same. Although many casinos add luxuries such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to help attract gamblers, any venue that houses gambling activities can be considered a casino.
A casino’s main source of revenue is the house edge, which is a built in advantage that allows it to make money. This advantage is very small, usually less than two percent, but it adds up over the millions of bets placed by patrons each year. This virtual assurance of profit allows casinos to build spectacular hotels, fountains and replicas of famous monuments.
Most casinos offer a variety of table games and slot machines. The table games include poker, blackjack and roulette. In addition, some casinos feature traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which spread to American and European casinos in the 1990s), fan-tan and pai gow.
Casinos must employ security measures to prevent cheating by patrons and staff. The presence of security cameras throughout a casino is one way to deter this activity. Some casinos also use catwalks above the casino floor, which allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on the activities at the table and machine games.
Casinos must also monitor their own house edges and variance. These are calculated by mathematicians and computer programmers who specialize in gaming analysis. Using these statistics, casino managers can plan for the expected amount of revenue and determine how much cash reserves are needed to cover losses.