A casino, also known as a gaming establishment or gambling house, is an institution for various types of gambling. These include games of chance, in which customers place bets against the house, and games involving skill, in which players compete against each other. A casino is also a type of entertainment venue, offering a variety of live shows, such as stand-up comedy and concerts.
Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions. They are usually upscale, with an emphasis on luxury and service. Many casinos have several gaming floors and offer a wide range of table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker. Some also have exotic game tables, such as sic bo and baccarat.
Gambling in a casino involves the use of large amounts of money, and as such casinos spend a significant amount of time, effort and money on security. Because of the potential for cheating, theft and other crimes, a casino’s security staff must be trained to spot suspicious activity. This is especially important since casinos are often located in cities or towns with high crime rates. Some casinos are designed with a bright, exciting atmosphere, using gaudy colors and noise to stimulate gamblers. Alcohol is readily available, and waiters circulate to serve patrons. In addition, casino walls are often covered with mirrors to create a sense of excitement and depth. Casinos are also known for giving out free items to “good” players, such as hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even limo service and airline tickets. These comps are based on the amount of time and money a player spends at the casino.