What Is a Casino?


A casino (also known as a gaming house or a gambling establishment) is an entertainment facility for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. They may also offer live entertainment such as concerts and stand-up comedy. In some countries, casinos are operated by government-licensed operators. Others are owned by private individuals or companies.

Modern casinos use a variety of tricks to attract gamblers. Many are bright and colorful, using gaudy floor and wall coverings that stimulate the senses and cheer up patrons. The sound of bells, clanging coins, and whirring slot machines adds to the excitement. Casinos avoid the use of clocks on their walls because they want their customers to lose track of time and stay longer.

Gamblers are rewarded for their loyalty with comps, or free goods and services. Free hotel rooms, buffet meals, show tickets, and even airline or limo service are available to the big spenders. Some casinos have catwalks in the ceiling, allowing surveillance personnel to look down on players at blackjack tables or slot machines through one-way glass.

In the United States, the most popular games in a casino are blackjack, poker, and roulette. In 2008, more than half of all casino visitors reported playing these games. Other popular games include craps and keno. Despite their popularity, most casino gamblers do not make money from these games. They are instead primarily sources of revenue for the owners of the casinos.