What Is a Casino?


Casino is a gambling establishment that offers a variety of gaming options. It may also offer food and drink, hotel accommodations and other amenities to its patrons. Casinos generate billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. They also provide revenue for state and local governments.

Modern casinos are much like indoor amusement parks for adults, with elaborate theme designs and high-tech lighting to attract customers. But the vast majority of their profits come from gambling on games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are the most popular casino games. Some casinos also feature Far Eastern games such as sic bo (which spread to European and American casinos in the 1990s) and fan-tan.

Something about the nature of casino gambling seems to encourage cheating and theft, either in collusion or independently by patrons or staff. Consequently, casinos spend a great deal of money on security measures.

The most visible element of casino security is the presence of numerous surveillance cameras throughout the facility. Some are located in the ceiling, where they can be aimed at tables and slot machines through one-way glass. There are also catwalks over the casino floor, which allow surveillance workers to view activities directly below them.

Casinos also encourage frequent play by offering “comps,” or complimentary items. These are usually free food or drink, but can include show tickets, hotel rooms and even airline tickets for big spenders.