What Is a Casino?


A casino, also called a gambling house, is a place for gamblers to play games of chance and skill. Most games have mathematically determined odds that give the house an advantage over the players. The house advantage is referred to as the house edge or simply the “house’s profit.” Casinos generate billions of dollars in profits each year for their owners, investors, and local governments. Besides slot machines and table games, some casinos feature top-notch restaurants, hotels, spas, and entertainment.

Casinos are regulated by federal, state and local laws. In the United States, about 51 million people visited a casino in 2002. Those numbers don’t include visitors to legal, regulated Internet gaming sites. Casinos are huge businesses that employ many people. They often offer employees lucrative perks such as free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets, or “comps.”

In the United States, there are more than 12,000 licensed casinos, operating in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. In addition, there are countless offshore casinos. Some are operated by Native American tribes and others are run by private companies or investment groups. The success of a casino depends on the quality of its location, services, staffing and customer service, as well as its gambling offerings.

Casinos are usually decorated in bright colors that stimulate the senses and encourage gambling. They use sound systems to create an enticing atmosphere, and they often have a sexy look. Many have a red color scheme because it’s thought to make patrons forget about the time and just keep gambling.