What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling activities. It is usually built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. Casinos may also offer live entertainment.

The name casino is derived from the Italian word for little house, and it is believed that the first modern casinos began to appear in the 18th century as gaming houses for the rich. Today, most casinos are built as full-scale resorts with luxury facilities such as spas and restaurants. Casinos offer a variety of games, including slot machines and table games like blackjack and roulette. Some casinos also offer more exotic games such as baccarat and craps. Some casinos even have their own poker rooms.

Most casino games involve chance, but some are mixed with skill, such as card games or the game of roulette. In such games, the odds are mathematically determined, giving the house an advantage over the players. This advantage is known as the house edge. In some games, such as poker, the house also takes a fee, called the rake, from each player.

Casinos use various technologies to ensure the integrity of their operations and to protect patrons’ money. For example, many have video surveillance systems that record all activity on the casino floor. In addition, dealers at card games are trained to spot a range of cheating tactics, such as palming, marking or switching cards. In other games, such as the wheel of fortune and roulette, electronic monitoring is used to discover any deviation from expected results.