A casino is a place where a variety of gambling games can be played. In the past the term casino was used to refer to a theater or place for public meetings, but it has since come to be associated primarily with gambling establishments. Some famous casinos, such as the Copenhagen Casino and the Hanko Casino in Finland, were never actually used for gambling and instead were home to social events.
Most casinos have a built-in advantage that guarantees them to win money over the long run, known as the house edge. This advantage is determined by the rules of the game, and can be influenced by skillful play or by taking advantage of a rule that gives one player an advantage over another. Casinos also offer a wide range of perks to attract players and keep them spending money, known as comps. This includes free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets.
In the twenty-first century, casinos are choosier about whom they let gamble and concentrate their investments on “high rollers” who spend a large amount of money. These high-stakes patrons often gamble in special rooms away from the main casino floor and are treated to personal service, food and drink.
Because of the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal. For this reason, most casinos have security measures in place. These range from video surveillance to sophisticated systems for monitoring the results of games, such as roulette wheels, which are electronically monitored to discover any deviation from their expected values.