A casino or gambling house is a building or room where various types of gambling activities take place. These establishments are sometimes combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They are also known for hosting live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sports events. In military and non-military usage, the term casino (Spanish for “gambling house”) may refer to an officers’ mess or a civilian equivalent.

The most popular gambling games in casinos are table games such as blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker. A small number of casinos also offer sic bo and fan-tan. In addition, some European casinos offer traditional Far Eastern games such as baccarat and pai gow.

Because of the large amount of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. As a result, most casinos employ security measures to prevent this. These may include a visible surveillance system, and the use of standardized security chips with built-in microcircuitry for betting. Casinos also routinely monitor their slot machines and other tables using video cameras to spot any statistical deviations from expected results.

In some cases, casinos hire gaming mathematicians and computer programmers to design systems that detect and deter such deviations. These people are often referred to as gaming analysts. This work is important to casinos because it allows them to calculate the house edge and variance for each game, and to make informed decisions about game rules, payout percentages, and other features.