What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Most casinos offer a variety of gaming activities and are built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. Casinos may also have entertainment venues such as theatres and nightclubs. Some casinos specialize in specific games, such as baccarat or roulette. Others promote a general atmosphere of luxury and elegance. Many casinos are located in cities known for tourism, such as Las Vegas and Macau.

Despite their many luxuries, casinos exist primarily to make money. They rake in billions of dollars per year, largely through games of chance like blackjack, roulette, and slots. Other games may include poker, craps, and keno. In the United States, where gambling is legal, there are more than 1,000 casinos. Las Vegas has the highest concentration of them, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos on Indian reservations, which are not subject to state laws regarding gambling, are also popular.

Because casinos handle large amounts of money, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, casinos employ a variety of security measures. Many casinos have cameras throughout the premises, and all table games are played with numbered chips that are tracked by computerized systems. Security guards patrol the casino floor, and some have catwalks that allow them to look down directly on the tables from above.

In addition to these measures, casinos often reward “good” players with comps, or free goods and services, such as hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows, and even limo service or airline tickets. The amount of money a player wagers, and the number of hours spent playing, are used to determine a player’s loyalty status.