What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room in which people can gamble. Most casinos feature a variety of gambling games such as blackjack, poker, craps, roulette, and slots. In addition, most casinos offer other entertainment options such as shows and restaurants. Some even have sports teams.

Although musical shows, lighted fountains, and shopping centers help draw visitors to casinos, the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling. Slot machines, keno, baccarat, and other chance games account for the billions in profits that U.S. casinos rake in every year.

In addition to cameras, casinos employ a wide range of technological measures to prevent cheating and other illegal activities. Elaborate surveillance systems provide a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino floor at once; electronic chips with built-in microcircuitry allow casinos to monitor betting minute by minute and warn them of any statistical deviation from expected results; and roulette wheels and dice are electronically monitored regularly for anomalies. In the 1990s, casinos also began implementing “chip tracking” to make sure that winnings are claimed by the rightful owners.

In general, the average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. In 2005, 23% of American adults reported having visited a casino. Many casinos offer a wide range of luxury amenities to attract such clients, including branches of New York’s swank Le Cirque restaurant and Hermes and Chanel boutiques. Other amenities include spa services, golf courses, and luxurious hotels.