What is a Casino?
A casino is a public place where a variety of gambling games are played. While stage shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and luxury hotels help to draw in the crowds, it is the games that bring in billions in profits every year. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, poker and baccarat are the games that attract players and provide the hefty jackpots that make casinos such lucrative businesses.
Casinos are usually open 24/7 and offer a wide range of games to their patrons. They offer free drinks, food and entertainment to their high rollers, known as “comps.” In addition, they provide complimentary rooms and services such as limo service, show tickets and airline tickets for the big spenders. The most popular casino game is the slot machine, where the player places a coin or paper ticket in a slot and watches as varying bands of colored shapes roll past (the actual physical reels or a video representation of them). If the right pattern appears, the player wins a predetermined amount of money.
Many casinos feature a wide variety of traditional Far Eastern games such as two-up, sic bo, fan-tan and pai-gow. Occasionally they feature games of local interest such as boule in France, kalooki in Britain and banca francesa in Portugal. Something about gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal and lie in order to win a jackpot, so casino security is a major concern. Besides the usual surveillance cameras, some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling above the tables and slots that allow security personnel to look down on their guests through one way glass.