What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where games of chance can be played. While lighted fountains, stage shows, hotels and shopping centers all contribute to the billions in profits that casinos make each year, they would not exist without the games themselves: slot machines, blackjack, poker, roulette, craps, keno and other gambling activities.

While the decor may vary from place to place, most casinos strive to impress their patrons with an atmosphere of luxury. Lush carpeting and carefully selected lighting are often used to create a sense of mystery and excitement. Most modern casinos also feature elaborate surveillance systems, with cameras placed throughout the facility that are monitored by security personnel in a separate room filled with banks of monitors.

In addition to the games of chance, most casinos offer a variety of entertainment and dining options to their patrons. Many also feature night clubs and bars that are open to the public. Some casinos also provide hotel services for their patrons, including room service and valet parking.

Casinos are a major source of revenue for a number of governments around the world. However, critics point to the fact that casinos divert money from other forms of local entertainment and that the costs associated with treating compulsive gamblers offset any economic benefits they bring. These concerns have led to a number of states passing laws to limit the growth and scope of casinos. Some have even banned them altogether.