What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Some casinos are located in land-based buildings, while others are part of large resorts or hotel complexes. In the United States, casinos are usually regulated by state laws. In Europe, casinos are often run by private operators and regulated by the governments of their host countries. Some famous casinos include the Bellagio in Las Vegas and the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco.

The casino business is based on stimulating the senses and creating a partylike atmosphere. To this end, the walls and floors are typically covered in bright, sometimes gaudy colors. Red is a popular color, as it is believed to make people lose track of time. To enhance the effect, there are generally no clocks visible on casino walls. In addition, casino employees frequently scurry around the floor, offering drinks and snacks to players.

Because of the high volume and value of money handled within a casino, security is an important aspect of casino operation. To prevent cheating and stealing, casino staff may monitor player activity through cameras and other means. Some casinos have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down, through one-way glass, on table and slot game play.

In the United States, casino gambling first became widespread after Atlantic City and New Jersey began permitting them in 1978. From the 1980s on, casinos also began to appear on Native American reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling statutes. As a result, the number of American casinos grew rapidly. By the early 2000s, more than a third of all American adults reported visiting a casino at least once during the previous year.