What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. The gambling industry generates billions of dollars each year for the owners and shareholders of casinos, as well as for state and local governments that collect taxes, fees and other payments from those who visit the casinos. There are over 1,000 casinos worldwide, ranging from massive resorts to small card rooms. In addition to gaming, some casinos offer hotels, restaurants, non-gambling games, bars and other entertainment.

Gambling was illegal in America for most of the nation’s history, but that didn’t stop organized crime figures from running their own gambling houses in Las Vegas and Reno. Their money and swagger helped create an industry that has become synonymous with glitz, glamour and big winnings.

The modern casino is a heavily designed environment built around noise, light and action. The bright, sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings are meant to stimulate the senses and encourage gambling activity. Red is a popular color for casino walls, as it is believed to make the gambler lose track of time. In some casinos, there are no clocks displayed at all.

To maximize profits, casinos focus on attracting high-volume players and converting them to repeat customers. They often offer perks such as free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even limo service and airline tickets to big spenders. They also promote themselves through mass mailings and television commercials. In 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment reported that the average American casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income.