What is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can play games of chance for real money. Modern casinos often include luxuries such as restaurants, stage shows, and dramatic scenery to attract visitors. But even less opulent places that simply house gambling activities can be called casinos.

Like any business, a casino seeks to maximize its profits. That means attracting and keeping as many customers as possible, and making sure that they spend more than they win. For that reason, most casinos offer a variety of perks to encourage gamblers to spend more, including cheap buffets and free show tickets. In the 1970s Las Vegas casinos were especially aggressive in this regard, offering deeply discounted travel packages and cheap rooms in an effort to fill the hotels and casinos with as many paying customers as possible.

In addition, most casinos make a substantial amount of their profit from the “high rollers” who gamble much more than the average person does. These high-stakes gamblers are rewarded with comps worth thousands of dollars, and they are given special treatment on the casino floor. Windows and clocks are rare in casinos, allowing patrons to lose track of time and money and keep on gambling for hours without realizing it. Because of the large amounts of cash handled in casinos, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion or independently. This is why most casinos spend a great deal of money on security measures.