What is a Casino?


Casino is a gambling establishment featuring games of chance and skill, such as poker, blackjack, and roulette. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year, benefiting companies, investors, and owners, as well as local governments that collect taxes and fees. A casino can be a large building, such as those found in Las Vegas, or a small card room in a truck stop or bar. Casino-type game machines are also located on some American Indian reservations and are a popular form of gambling.

Casinos are designed to be loud, bright, and exciting to encourage people to gamble. They feature high-paced music and a variety of lights, which are often pulsing with a red color that is thought to make gamblers lose track of time. Many have a club-like atmosphere with crowded dance floors and pounding live cover bands. Guests are served alcohol and snacks by waiters who circulate throughout the rooms.

Gamblers are encouraged to spend money in the casino by being offered free or discounted meals, drinks, hotel rooms, and tickets to shows. These rewards are called comps. Depending on the amount of time and money a gambler spends in the casino, he or she may receive additional perks, such as limo service and airline tickets.

Because of the large amounts of money handled within casinos, both patrons and employees are sometimes tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or independently. To prevent this, casinos employ a variety of security measures. These include a physical security force and specialized surveillance departments. Elaborate security systems include cameras in the ceiling that provide a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of all table and slot activity.