What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can gamble on games of chance. Modern casinos may feature stage shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate hotel designs, but they would not exist without the billions of dollars in profits that come from games like slot machines, craps, blackjack, roulette and baccarat.

While a few casinos focus on high-stakes gamblers, most offer a variety of games to appeal to all types of players. These include card games such as baccarat (a fixture in many European continental casinos), chemin de fer in the United Kingdom and trente et quarante in France, as well as video poker. Many casinos also feature Asian games such as sic bo and fan-tan.

Casinos make their money by offering perks to encourage gamblers to spend more, called comps. These can include free food and drinks, show tickets or room upgrades. The amount of time and money spent at a game determines the player’s status, with those who gamble long hours and at higher stakes receiving more comps.

Casinos are a major source of revenue for state, local and tribal governments. The games of chance are regulated by government agencies, and casinos employ security measures to prevent cheating, stealing and other violations. Because large amounts of cash are handled within a casino, surveillance systems are extensive and include cameras that cover every table, window and doorway. In addition, the color red is used in casino decor because it is thought to stimulate the senses and speed up the heart rate, allowing patrons to lose track of time.

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