A casino, or gaming house, is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are known for hosting live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sports.
Most casino games involve an element of chance, but some are also based on skill. The mathematically determined odds of any particular game give the house an advantage over the players. This advantage is usually expressed as a percentage and is called the house edge or house profit. The house edge is higher in games that involve more skill, such as baccarat, but lower in games of pure chance, such as roulette or blackjack.
In addition to traditional table games, many casinos offer a variety of electronic machines such as slot machines and video poker. These machines generate a high volume of play at low cost to the casino, and are therefore an important source of revenue. Some machines have built-in microcircuitry that allows them to be monitored electronically, to record the amount of money deposited and paid out minute by minute, and to alert staff if any unusual activity occurs.
Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, security is a major concern. Security begins on the casino floor, where dealers keep a close eye on patrons and can quickly spot blatant cheating or stealing of chips or dice. Pit bosses and tables managers oversee table games with a wider view, looking for signs of collusion between players or a favored group of patrons.