What Is a Casino?


A casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance are played. The primary activity is gambling, but many casinos add luxuries to attract customers, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. There have been less-lavish establishments that simply housed gambling activities, but the term casino is generally associated with a more elaborate facility.

Like other businesses, a casino must make money to stay in business. It must pay its employees, rent or buy its space, and maintain and repair equipment. To maximize profits, a casino must also offer attractive promotions and competitions to keep gamblers coming back for more. In addition to attracting the attention of potential customers, a casino must also provide security for its patrons and staff. A casino’s security measures may include guards on the floor, cameras in the ceiling and a separate room filled with banks of video monitors that can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons.

Gambling is often a high-stakes activity, and casino owners must make sure to protect their property from cheaters. Because so much cash is handled, both patrons and staff may be tempted to steal or cheat; most casinos have measures in place to prevent these activities. These security measures often involve cameras throughout the casino and a computer system that records transactions.

High-stakes gamblers, called “high rollers” in the industry, are a valuable source of income for casinos. These gamblers often play in special rooms away from the main casino and bet large sums of money. In exchange for this high volume, they receive comps (free goods and services) such as free hotel rooms, meals and tickets to shows.