What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that houses a variety of games of chance and skill. The house always has a mathematical advantage in most casino games, and this advantage is known as the house edge. The house also collects a commission from the players, which is called rake. Casinos often give out complimentary items to gamblers, and these are referred to as comps. The amount of comps a player receives is usually based on how much time and money he or she spends at the casino.

Many casinos offer a variety of other amenities, including restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. These are called auxiliary services, and they can help a casino attract new customers and keep current ones. Some casinos have even become tourist attractions in their own right, such as the Mirage in Las Vegas.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with others or independently. For this reason, casinos spend a considerable amount of time and money on security. Security measures include cameras and other electronic monitoring equipment, as well as rules of conduct and behavior.

Some casinos specialize in specific games, such as baccarat and blackjack. Others offer a wide range of games, such as craps, roulette and video poker. Many of these offer different types of bets, and players can choose the type of game that best suits their preferences and budgets.