What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building that houses gambling games. It is a major source of revenue for some states. Most casinos are located in cities with large populations, especially those that are tourist destinations. Some of the largest casinos are in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and Chicago. In addition to gambling, some casinos also offer restaurants and shows.

Casino patrons gamble by playing games of chance, in some cases with a small element of skill. Most games have mathematically determined odds that ensure the house a steady net profit, although the actual amounts betted by each patron can vary greatly. Casinos often reward large bettors with extravagant inducements, including free spectacular entertainment and transportation, while reducing or eliminating comps to smaller bettors.

In some instances, a casino may become insolvent and close down. Gambling addiction is a significant problem, and casinos are required to display responsible gambling signage and provide contact information for organizations that can help with addiction treatment. Most states include statutory funding for responsible gambling as part of the license conditions for their casinos.

In the United States, most casinos are owned by private corporations. They are regulated by state gaming commissions, which oversee the operation of all casinos. In some cases, the casinos are owned by Native American tribes. The number of legal casinos in the United States has steadily increased as more states pass laws permitting them. In 2008, 24% of Americans reported visiting a casino within the past year.