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What is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. Its name is derived from the Latin word for “house”, and early casinos were mainly private clubs for the elite. Today, casinos are major tourist attractions and business centers as well as places where people can socialize and gamble. Some tourists seek out casinos specifically, while others stumble upon them by accident and have a great time.

Most casinos make their money by charging a fee to play. This fee is known as the vig or rake, and it can be anywhere from one percent to over two percent of the total amount bet. This money is used to pay for the casino’s expensive decorations, such as fountains, pyramids and towers, as well as its massive slot and video poker machines.

Most casinos have security forces that patrol the property and watch over patrons to ensure compliance with the rules and to prevent criminal activity. They are usually divided into a physical security force and a specialized surveillance department that operates the casino’s closed circuit television system, or Eye in the Sky. The physical security force is usually positioned on the floor, while the surveillance staff looks down through catwalks from above at the tables and slots. This allows them to see if a player is palming chips or marking dice. They can also track betting patterns that may be indicative of cheating or collusion. If they find any suspicious or definite criminal activity, they alert the security guards on duty to take action.