What is a Casino?

A casino is an entertainment complex, offering gaming (such as slot machines and table games) along with top-notch hotels, restaurants and spas. Some casinos also offer live entertainment, such as shows and concerts. Casinos make their money mainly by taking bets on chance games like roulette, blackjack, craps and poker. Some casinos, especially those in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, are world-famous and attract tourists from around the globe.

In the twenty-first century, casinos are choosier about who they let in, and many focus on high rollers who spend a lot of money. These players are often rewarded with free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets and even airline tickets if they gamble large amounts of money for extended periods of time.

Casinos are staffed by employees who are trained to spot cheaters, liars and thieves. They use cameras mounted in the ceiling to watch every table and window, and can zoom in on suspicious patrons. Some of these cameras are adjustable, allowing security workers to shift the focus from one area to another.

Casinos are usually decorated in bright colors, such as red, to stimulate the senses and encourage gambling. They also do not display clocks, because they don’t want their patrons to know how long they’ve been gambling. Some critics argue that casinos actually harm communities by stealing customers from other forms of local entertainment. They also point to studies showing that compulsive gambling generates a disproportionate amount of casino profits.