What Is a Casino?

A casino (also known as a gambling house or a kasino) is a facility for certain types of gambling. It is often combined with hotels, restaurants, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. Some casinos also have live entertainment. The term may also refer to:

Most modern casinos are owned by large corporations. Unlike mob-controlled operations, they must abide by federal laws and regulations regarding gaming. These requirements reduce the likelihood of corruption and criminal activity, such as money laundering. They also ensure that the public is protected from unsavory characters. In addition to casino gambling, many large casinos offer luxury accommodations, gourmet dining, and high-end shopping. The Bellagio, for example, features a branch of New York’s Le Cirque restaurant and Hermes and Chanel boutiques.

The casino is a popular tourist attraction and draws millions of visitors annually. In the United States, about 51 million people—a quarter of the population over 21—visited a casino in 2002. Many of these were tourists from other countries. Most casinos are located in the Las Vegas Valley, but others are found in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago.

The games available vary by location, but most feature roulette and craps. In Europe, the game of choice is poker and blackjack. In America, slots and video poker machines are the economic mainstays of most American casinos, with an advantage of less than 1 percent. In Asia, casino visitors enjoy traditional Far Eastern games, including sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow.