What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are usually built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, resorts, and other tourist attractions. In some countries, casinos are licensed and regulated by governments to ensure that gambling activities are conducted in a responsible manner.

Something about the nature of casino gambling seems to encourage people to cheat, steal or scam their way into winning a jackpot instead of simply losing money by random chance. This is why casinos spend a great deal of time, effort and money on security. Dealers, pit bosses and table managers keep an eye on their tables, looking for blatant cheating techniques like palming or marking cards or dice. Video cameras and computers routinely monitor games to detect statistical deviations from expected results.

Many casinos offer perks to encourage gamblers to spend more. These are called comps and can include free hotel rooms, meals and show tickets. During the 1970s Las Vegas casinos were famous for their deeply discounted travel packages and cheap buffets to lure in as many people as possible to boost gambling revenues.

Economic studies have shown that, overall, casinos add little to a local economy. Instead, they shift spending away from other forms of entertainment; increase the cost of treating problem gambling; and lower property values in surrounding neighborhoods. In addition, the influx of casino visitors depresses wages and employment in local businesses. This has led to a growing number of states limiting the growth of casinos or banning them altogether. Despite these restrictions, casinos continue to proliferate, especially on American Indian reservations that are exempt from state antigambling laws.