What is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where people can play games of chance and skill. It can be as massive as a Las Vegas resort or as small as a local card room. Casinos offer entertainment and profit opportunities for both the gambler and the owner.

Casinos make money because every game has a built in advantage for the house. The difference can be as low as two percent, but over millions of bets this adds up. Casino owners use this money to fund lavish hotels, lighted fountains and elaborate theme parks.

Some casinos specialize in one type of gambling, like slot machines or blackjack. Others concentrate on certain demographic groups, such as older adults. In 2005 the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income.

Many casinos promote themselves by offering perks designed to get as many gamblers as possible through their doors. Free hotel rooms, discounted show tickets and cheap buffets are among the most common perks.

Although most gamblers are harmless, a significant number are addicted to gambling. These problem gamblers generate a large share of the profits at casino tables. They also drain local economies because they divert spending away from other forms of entertainment and cause lost productivity. These negative effects usually outweigh the economic benefits of casino gambling. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, for example, opened its casino over 150 years ago to cater to European royalty and aristocracy.