What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where people place bets on games of chance. The games have varying degrees of skill involved, but the outcome is generally determined by chance. Casinos may offer a variety of luxuries to attract and keep patrons, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. Casinos also employ a variety of security measures to protect their patrons and property.

Due to the large amounts of money handled within a casino, both patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with other patrons or on their own. Casinos use a variety of methods to prevent such activity, from plain old surveillance cameras to sophisticated “eye-in-the sky” systems that can watch every table, window and doorway simultaneously.

Casinos have long specialized in rewarding big gamblers with perks that make them feel special. These “complimentaries,” or comps, often include free hotel rooms and meals, show tickets and even limo service. They can also be used to track players’ spending habits and develop a patron database.

In addition to focusing on big gamblers, casinos also spend a lot of time and money determining what colors, sounds and scents most appeal to patrons. These factors influence everything from the design of casino floors to what music is played in the background. The elegant spa town of Baden-Baden, Germany, became a popular casino resort for European royalty and aristocracy 150 years ago, drawing them with its red-and-gold poker rooms and blackjack tables.