What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and skill. Casinos are found in a variety of settings, including large resorts in Las Vegas (known as the “gambling capital of the world”), cruise ships, riverboats, and local businesses such as restaurants and bars. Some casinos also feature live entertainment.

Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. They also generate millions in taxes, fees, and payments to state and local governments. In addition to the traditional table and slot machine games, some casinos offer Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan, and pai gow.

To keep gamblers interested, casinos often provide free food and drink. They may use chips instead of real money to make it easier for patrons to count their winnings and losses. Often, the color red is used to stimulate the senses and encourage players. Casino walls are usually covered with paintings and photos that add to the gambling environment.

In the twenty-first century, casino owners have become more choosy about their investments. They concentrate their efforts on high-stakes gamblers who spend much more than the average player. They offer these big bettors extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury suites, and reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms. While these inducements may help increase casino profits, they can also hurt other local businesses by taking away customers from them. As a result, some economists believe that casinos harm other industries. However, it is difficult to put a monetary value on these social costs.