What Is a Casino?


A casino, or gambling house, is a building or room where people can play various games of chance for money. Casinos are most commonly associated with the gambling activities of Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In addition to providing opportunities for gambling, casinos also offer other entertainment and recreational facilities. They may include restaurants, free drinks, stage shows, and other attractions. Some casinos, especially those owned by major hotel chains, may also operate on cruise ships and in overseas locations.

Casinos are most commonly operated on a profit margin, with the goal of making money from gamblers. The majority of a casino’s profits are generated by slot machines and other mechanical devices that pay out winning bets according to predetermined odds. Table games like blackjack, craps and roulette generate income from bettors who wish to place higher-stake bets and are managed by a dealer.

With such large sums of money being handled within a casino, security is a concern. Both patrons and employees can be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To mitigate these risks, most casinos employ security cameras and other surveillance technologies. Casinos also use bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings to stimulate the senses and make it easy for players to lose track of time. In fact, many casinos do not display clocks on their walls because they believe it will encourage gamblers to spend more money than intended.

While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and luxurious hotels help draw in patrons, casinos would not exist without their primary source of income: games of chance. Casinos make billions of dollars annually from black jack, roulette, craps, keno, and other table games.