What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games of chance. Casinos often have hotel rooms and restaurants and also offer other types of entertainment such as concerts and shows. Some casinos are operated by government-licensed gaming companies, and some are owned by individuals or corporations.

Many states have legalized casinos, with Nevada and New Jersey being especially well-known for their casino resorts. Historically, the majority of casinos have been operated by organized crime groups and mobs, but this is changing as real estate developers and hotel chains purchase casinos and remove them from mob control. Government crackdowns and the risk of losing a gambling license at the slightest hint of Mafia involvement have also helped to deter mafia control of casinos.

The design of a casino is intended to maximize the amount of money that is spent by gamblers, and to make them as comfortable as possible. Lush carpets and richly tiled hallways add to the impression that the casino is a luxurious experience. The lighting is often dimmed, to accentuate the sense of mystery and excitement. Often, there is some kind of prize displayed prominently, such as a sports car on a pedestal.

Security at a casino is also emphasized, both with cameras and with staff. The surveillance systems used by modern casinos allow for an “eye-in-the-sky” view of the entire casino floor, and security personnel can easily spot any tampering with equipment or blatant cheating. In addition, casino patrons are encouraged to use their cell phones to report suspicious activity.