What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are sometimes built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. They may also feature live entertainment. Some casinos are owned by large companies and operate on a franchise basis. Others are operated by individual proprietors.

A modern casino is a high-tech entertainment center with a wide variety of games, including blackjack, poker, craps, roulette and slots. Musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels add to the appeal, but the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling. Slot machines, keno, bingo, baccarat and other games generate billions of dollars in profits for U.S. casinos each year.

Casinos have strict rules and procedures for ensuring fair play. In table games, dealers keep close watch over the action, watching for blatant cheating such as palming or marking cards. Pit bosses and other managers have a broader view of the tables, looking for betting patterns that could signal cheating. In addition to cameras, many casinos employ sophisticated electronic security measures such as hotlines and floor sensors that monitor the movement of players and chips.

Casinos rely on gamblers to fill their establishments, so they provide a variety of perks designed to encourage people to spend more money. Known as comps, these benefits can include free hotel rooms, show tickets, food and drinks, discounted transportation and even limo service. In the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos were famous for their deeply discounted travel packages and cheap buffets. These promotions were designed to attract the maximum number of gamblers possible, increasing the overall volume of gambling revenue.

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