What is a Casino?


A casino is a facility where people can gamble. It is often associated with a resort or hotel and may also offer restaurants, retail shops and entertainment. The casino industry is global and has been expanding at a rapid rate. In 2002, about 51 million people in the United States visited a casino. Many of those visits were for gambling purposes, but some were simply for recreation.

A modern casino usually features a wide variety of games that involve chance and in some cases some element of skill. These include slot machines (also called fruit machines or one-armed bandits) and table games like roulette, craps, blackjack, and poker. In addition, some casinos feature sports books and race tracks. The majority of a casino’s revenue comes from its gaming operations, which include the house edge and variance of each game. Casinos employ mathematicians specializing in gaming analysis to develop their house edges and variance calculations.

Casinos are famous for their perks designed to lure big spenders and reward regulars, especially high rollers. These perks can include free drinks, rooms and show tickets, discounted travel packages, meals and even private jet flights. Casinos also focus on customer service and use bright, sometimes gaudy colors that are believed to stimulate and cheer patrons. In the United States, the use of red is especially common because it helps guests to lose track of time and spend more money.

In the early days of legalized casino gambling, the mob was heavily involved in casinos. But real estate investors and hotel chains had deep pockets and were able to buy out the mafia’s stakes in Reno and Las Vegas. Federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at any hint of Mafia involvement keep organized crime out of the business now.