The casino (from Italian: “house of chance”) is a place where people play games of chance or skill for money. It may also offer other amenities such as restaurants, free drinks, stage shows, and dramatic scenery to attract customers. Casinos often have security measures to prevent cheating and stealing, both between patrons and between the casino and its employees. These measures vary from casino to casino, but may include cameras and other technological devices, rules about how players hold their cards, and the presence of a dealer.
In the United States, there are many casinos. The largest concentration is in Las Vegas, Nevada, with the second-largest number in Atlantic City, New Jersey. There are also many smaller casinos located in other cities and towns. Some are run by Native American tribes, while others are commercial businesses.
Casinos make money by charging a “house edge”, or mathematical advantage, on most games. This house edge is the expected value of a game to the casino, and it can be small (less than two percent) or large (over 20 percent). A smaller house edge means that the casino can keep more of its winnings than would otherwise be possible, and a larger one means that the casino will lose money over time. The house edge is based on the probabilities of different outcomes, and it is consistent for all games offered by a casino. The casino can adjust its odds to reduce the house edge, but it cannot eliminate it completely.