What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment where gambling is legal and where people play games of chance for money. The casino business is a multibillion-dollar industry and is a major source of income for many states. A casino offers a variety of entertainment options, such as gambling, restaurants, musical shows, and lighted fountains. It also provides a variety of other facilities, such as hotel rooms and conference centers. However, the vast majority of a casino’s profits come from gambling.

While a casino may use bright lights, gaudy floor and wall coverings, and booming sound systems to lure visitors in, the real draw is the games of chance. Guests gamble in games of chance for the opportunity to win, and casinos employ many tricks to make people continue playing their favorite games. For example, a casino might have a large amount of red carpeting because it is believed that the color makes people lose track of time. And because human eyes are attracted to bright colors, casinos use thousands of miles of neon tubing to light their casinos.

In the past, organized crime figures provided much of the cash used to operate casinos in Nevada. But as federal crackdowns on mob activity intensified, legitimate businesses such as real estate investors and hotel chains began to buy up the casino properties. Today, mob involvement in casinos is very rare. Nonetheless, casinos must keep an eye on their patrons. Security personnel patrol the floors and watch over players, spotting cheating or stealing by observing betting patterns. In addition, some casinos have catwalks that allow surveillance personnel to look down on the slot machines and table games through one-way glass.