What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance and some skill. Most of these games have mathematically determined odds that give the house a profit over the players. This profit is called the house edge. Some games are banked, which means the house has a stake in the outcome of the game and is betting against the players; these include blackjack, craps, and some poker games. Other games are nonbanked, where the house only collects a percentage of the money wagered.

In addition to ensuring that the house edge is not eroded by excessive bets, casinos also attempt to keep people gambling as long as possible. To this end, they offer a variety of promotions and discounts, including complimentary items such as drinks and hotel rooms. These perks are known as comps. Casinos may also offer special rewards programs and invitations to exclusive events.

In addition, casinos employ a large number of security personnel to protect patrons and property. Many of these jobs are highly specialized and require extensive training. For example, dealers at card tables are trained to spot a variety of cheating methods such as palming or marking cards or switching dice. Table managers and pit bosses have a broader view of the games and can look for suspicious betting patterns. Casinos also use surveillance cameras to monitor their premises.