What is a Casino?



Casino is a gambling establishment that houses a variety of games of chance and sometimes skill, with gambling as its primary activity. Gambling is illegal in most of the United States but casinos have been built on American Indian reservations and other sites outside state jurisdiction and have been authorized to operate by states that do permit them. The casinos are generally massive and gleam with lights, but there have been much less extravagant places that housed gambling activities and were still called a casino.

While most people imagine a Vegas casino when they think of one, the term can actually apply to any establishment where gambling is the primary activity. This includes some very small businesses that have the glitz and glamour of a large casino but focus more on attracting and keeping customers than dazzling them with a show or free drinks.

In the United States, many casinos are located in Las Vegas, but there are also a growing number on American Indian reservations and elsewhere. Some of these are huge, with multiple buildings and hundreds of slot machines and table games. The largest is Ledyard, Connecticut’s Foxwoods Resort Casino which opened in 1968.

Most casinos have a high level of security. The most obvious protection is the staff, who watch over the tables and machines to prevent cheating. Dealers are trained to spot blatant techniques like palming, marking and switching cards and dice, while pit bosses and table managers have a wider view of the patrons and can note betting patterns that might indicate cheating. Many casinos also use elaborate surveillance systems, including cameras positioned in the ceiling that can be adjusted to look down on any table or window through one-way glass.