What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are usually located in cities and feature a hotel, restaurants, bars, and meeting and banquet facilities. In addition, some casinos also host concerts and other events. In some countries, casinos are operated by a public authority. Others are owned and operated by private corporations. Gambling is generally legal in casinos, but laws vary from country to country.

Most casino games are based on chance, but casinos try to make them as attractive as possible by focusing on the senses of sight, touch, and sound. For example, a casino features a large number of bright lights and a variety of flashing lights. More than 15,000 miles of neon tubing are used to light the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. Casinos also make use of sounds, such as bells and clangs, to attract patrons and to distract them from noticing that the game results are not entirely random.

In the United States, the term casino typically refers to a large building that houses a number of gambling tables and machines. It may also contain one or more restaurants, a cabaret, and other entertainment venues. In the past, some casinos were owned by the gangsters who ran organized crime. However, federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a casino license at the slightest hint of mob involvement have kept many legitimate casino owners away from organized crime.

A casino can be a popular tourist destination, but it is not necessarily a family-friendly place. Although some families do enjoy taking weekend bus trips to casinos, most patrons are older adults. In 2005, the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female with an above-average income.