What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling. The games played therein include poker, blackjack, and roulette. Some casinos are combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, and other tourist attractions. In military and non-military usage, the term casino may also refer to an officers’ mess.

There is a large amount of money handled in casinos, and there is always the temptation for patrons and staff to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. To counter this, casinos spend a lot of time and money on security measures. In addition to cameras, they use a variety of other technologies, including catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance workers to look down on tables and slot machines through one-way glass.

Some casinos also have special rooms for high-stakes gamblers, who can bet tens of thousands of dollars at a time and are subject to heightened scrutiny by security personnel. These special rooms are often designed around noise, light, and excitement. In some cases, these gamblers are offered complimentary food and drink, luxury suites, reduced-fare transportation, and other lavish inducements.

The most popular casino games are slots and table games like craps, blackjack, and poker. In the United States, most of the more than 3,000 casinos are located in Nevada and Atlantic City. During the 1980s, however, casinos began appearing on American Indian reservations and in some states that had previously prohibited gambling. Most of these new casinos are owned by corporations that have a strong presence in Las Vegas.