What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people play games of chance for money or other items of value, such as food and drinks. Although some casinos add stage shows, shopping centers and elaborate hotels to draw in visitors, they would not exist without the primary attraction of gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette and other games provide the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos each year.

Because of the large amount of money handled within casinos, they are often targets for cheating and theft, either in collusion with other patrons or by employees. To prevent this, casinos employ a number of security measures. These include a wide variety of security cameras that monitor activities throughout the casino, as well as one-way mirrors and catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down on table and slot machine actions. Additionally, casinos use bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings that are designed to stimulate and cheer gamblers and to make them lose track of time. Red is a particularly popular color.

In addition to the standard fare of poker, baccarat, craps and other casino card games, many casinos also offer traditional Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan, pachinko, and pai gow. Many casinos are also known for their gourmet restaurants and luxury suites. Casinos also rely on their customer service to boost business by offering a variety of perks such as free hotel rooms, discounted airfare and tickets to shows and other events.