What Is a Casino?


A casino is a public room or building where a variety of games of chance are played and gambling is the primary activity. While many casinos offer luxurious perks such as restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery to lure players, they would not exist without the millions of dollars in profits that games like roulette, craps, blackjack, poker, keno, and slot machines generate each year. Casinos also draw in billions of dollars for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. State and local governments also benefit from casino revenue in the form of taxes, fees, and other payments.

Unlike Internet casinos that operate from remote locations, real-world casino gambling involves patrons directly interacting with other people and participating in group activities such as poker or blackjack. The casino floor is usually crowded with tables where small groups play various games of chance, and the atmosphere is loud and partylike. Players often shout encouragement to one another and rely on a staff of dealers and attendants to help them.

Because of the huge sums of money involved, casinos have a strong tendency to attract cheats and thieves. The casino industry has developed a number of security measures to combat this problem. For example, cameras and electronic monitoring systems are used to monitor game play, and roulette wheels are electronically scanned for any statistical deviations from their expected results. In addition to these technological safeguards, casinos rely on the basic human element of trust to deter criminal behavior.