What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and skill. It is associated with glitz and glamour, but it can also be seedy and run-down. It is an entertainment attraction that attracts millions of visitors annually and generates billions of dollars in revenue for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that operate casinos. Casinos can be located in a variety of settings, from massive resorts to small card rooms. They may be built on or combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops and other facilities. In the United States, there are over 340 legal land-based casinos, including those in Nevada and New Jersey. Casinos are also found on riverboats, cruise ships and in some horseracing tracks that feature casino-type games.

In addition to slot machines and table games, many casinos offer other gaming options such as keno, video poker, bingo, and poker. Some have a restaurant or lounge that features live entertainment. Typically, these establishments are very noisy and have a pulsing, energy-filled atmosphere. Casinos try to attract high-spending players by offering comps such as free hotel stays and meals. They often provide players with information about the best slots and tables to play. A casino can be a great place to get away from the stress and strain of everyday life, even if only for a few hours.

Something about the gambling environment seems to encourage people to cheat or steal from other patrons. This is why casinos spend so much time, money and effort on security. They use cameras that monitor every table, window and doorway. The cameras can be focused on suspicious patrons by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors. Casinos are also equipped with special surveillance systems that can be aimed at specific areas.

Although casinos have traditionally targeted the wealthy, they now seek out a wider range of players. Generally, casino gamblers are middle-aged women from households with above-average incomes. According to a 2005 survey by Harrah’s Entertainment, the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with an income above $27,300.

Because casino employees see thousands of customers a week, they have an idea where the most lucrative machines are. They are usually willing to share this information for a good tip. Just ask at the information desk or a slot attendant. It is a good idea to tip these people generously because they are helping you to maximize your casino experience.