A casino is a building or room where gambling activities take place. It may also refer to a business establishment that combines gambling with other attractions, such as restaurants, shows or resorts. Casinos are designed to stimulate a sense of excitement and energy by using noise, color, and light to detract patrons’ attention from the fact that they’re losing money. They may also feature stage shows or dramatic scenery.
The games played in casinos are based on chance, with some requiring skill. Most have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house will win, unless the player is extremely lucky or exceptionally skilled. This advantage is often referred to as the house edge or expected value. Casinos attempt to balance this advantage with other factors, such as the number of players and the amount of money bet, to ensure a profit.
Since large amounts of money are handled within a casino, security is a major consideration. Both patrons and staff are tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently; to prevent these activities, many casinos employ a variety of security measures. These can include cameras, rules of conduct and behavior, and other physical barriers.