What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where gambling takes place. It may be a large, lavish hotel and entertainment complex like Las Vegas or it may be a small card room in a community. Regardless, it is intended to create an exciting, stimulating, and aesthetically pleasing experience for its patrons. Many casinos focus on customer service and offer perks such as free items (complimentaries) or discounted food, drinks and shows to encourage gamblers to spend more money. Some of these perks were popularized in the 1970s by casinos in Las Vegas that offered deeply discounted travel packages, buffets and show tickets to attract more people.

Casinos are a major source of revenue for private companies, corporations, investors and Native American tribes. They also generate billions of dollars for state and local governments through taxes, fees and other payments. They are also a key source of employment for many people, particularly in urban areas where casinos are located.

With so much money changing hands, casinos must take great care to prevent cheating and theft by patrons or staff members. Security personnel patrol the floor and monitor patrons to spot anything unusual, such as a suspicious betting pattern that could indicate collusion or fraud. Depending on the type of casino and its location, some casinos have a full-time guard force. Other casinos use a combination of human and electronic surveillance systems. In addition to security, casinos must address the potential for addiction. The excitement and adrenaline generated by gambling can trigger compulsive behavior.