What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that accepts patrons who play games of chance and skill. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the corporations, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. They also generate revenue for state and local governments in the form of taxes, fees and other payments. Casinos vary in size and scope, from massive resorts to small card rooms. Casino-type game machines are now commonplace at racetracks and some states have legalized riverboat gambling.

Although a casino’s primary source of income is gambling, it also makes money by providing food, beverages and entertainment. It has a wide range of promotional offers designed to attract and reward customers, from complimentary items to free show tickets. In the 1970s, Las Vegas casinos marketed themselves aggressively as destinations for tourists by offering discounted travel packages and cheap buffets.

Security is a high priority in a casino. Many casinos have a dedicated physical security force and a specialized surveillance department. Cameras are used to monitor the casino floor and patrons for signs of cheating or stealing. The routines and patterns of casino games also make it easy for security personnel to spot anything out of the ordinary.

The success of a casino depends on the quality and quantity of its games. Some of the most popular games include slots, blackjack, poker and roulette. Craps and keno are also available in many casinos. A few casinos specialize in Far Eastern games, such as sic bo and fan-tan.