What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that provides games of chance. These games include blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps and slot machines. The most successful casinos make billions of dollars each year for their owners, employees, investors and state and local governments. Casinos are found in large resorts, racinos (casino-type gaming facilities at racetracks) and on riverboats. Casinos are also present in some American Indian reservations and in military bases.

Although casinos offer a variety of entertainment options, they make money primarily from the millions of bets made by casino patrons. Each game has a built in advantage for the house, which is often less than two percent of total bets placed. Over time, this small edge adds up to massive profits for the casinos. These profits have allowed casinos to build hotels, flamboyant fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks.

In the past, casinos tried to attract as many people as possible by offering free buffets and show tickets. Nowadays, they are choosier and concentrate their investments on the high rollers. These gamblers usually play in special rooms separate from the main casino floor and can place bets in the tens of thousands of dollars. As a result, they receive comps worth a lot of money, such as free hotel suites, meals and even airline tickets.

A recent study by Roper Reports GfK NOP and TNS revealed that the average American casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from an upper middle class household. This group has the highest disposable income and is more likely to gamble than other age groups.