What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for gambling. Its customers are usually tourists or locals who visit to gamble and enjoy other attractions, such as shows, restaurants, shopping, or cruise ships. Casinos may also offer sports betting and lottery-style games. Some casinos specialize in particular games, such as baccarat (Chemin de Fer), blackjack or trente et quarante, and others are known for hosting poker events.

The United States has the highest concentration of casinos in the world, with many located in Las Vegas. Other popular gambling destinations include Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos often make use of technology to control gambling activities, such as video cameras and electronic systems that monitor player activity and track winnings. In addition to these technological advances, some casinos employ skilled staff to oversee the integrity of their games.

In 2008, 24% of Americans reported visiting a casino within the past year. Slot machines were the most popular form of gambling, followed by table games such as blackjack and poker. A smaller percentage favored other casino games such as baccarat, craps and roulette. Regardless of their popularity, it is difficult for casino operators to attract new gamblers because of legal restrictions and other factors that limit advertising and marketing efforts. Casinos are primarily concerned with maintaining their established clientele, and they reward high-volume players with special treatment. For example, they might provide them with free rooms or other amenities. Some casinos have special rooms where high-stakes gamblers can play for tens of thousands of dollars.