What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Typically, casinos have restaurants, free drinks, stage shows, and dramatic scenery to attract visitors. However, there have been less lavish places that house gambling activities and would still be considered a casino.

Most modern casinos have a high-tech surveillance system that allows security workers to keep an eye on the entire casino. Cameras are placed throughout the facility and can be shifted to focus on certain patrons or areas of the casino. The cameras can also be recorded on tape for review later.

The gaming industry reports that about 51 million people-a quarter of all Americans over the age of 21-visited a casino in 2002. This figure includes domestic and international visitors. Some of the biggest casinos in the world are located in Nevada, but many states have legalized gambling as well.

While some casinos offer a variety of different gaming options, most have an area devoted to table games such as blackjack, roulette, and craps. The tables usually have a large number of seats and can accommodate multiple players at the same time. Slot machines and video poker are the economic mainstays of most casinos, earning money from high volume, rapid play at sums ranging from five cents to a dollar or more.

In addition to offering a variety of games, many casinos also offer comps-free goods or services-to “good” players. Ask a casino employee whether there have been any recent big slot wins and where the hot machines are located. Casino employees see thousands of people playing the slots each week and may be willing to share this information in exchange for a generous tip.