What is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships or other tourist attractions. The casino industry is a major source of employment in many states. Some casinos are operated by government-owned enterprises, while others are owned and operated by private individuals or corporations. In addition to gambling, casinos may also host live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy, concerts or sports.

Casinos make money by giving gamblers complimentary items (comps), or letting them use hotel rooms and other facilities for free, such as limo service or airline tickets. The size of the comps depends on how much money a gambler spends at the casino. Many casinos have specific rules about what qualifies as a comp, and they might offer different incentives for high bettors or people who spend long periods of time playing a particular game.

Unlike other forms of gambling, such as lottery or Internet gambling, casinos are social places where patrons can interact with one another and are usually surrounded by music and other stimuli. Because of this, casinos place a premium on creating an exciting atmosphere for their guests. Various types of noise are used to stimulate the senses, and bright or even gaudy decor is used to add an air of excitement. Casinos also try to minimize the awareness of time, and they often do not display clocks.

In the early years of legalized gambling in Nevada, casinos were often run by organized crime figures who had large amounts of cash from illegal rackets such as drug dealing and extortion. After the mob was driven out of the Las Vegas and Reno areas by federal prosecutions, legitimate businessmen with deep pockets began to realize the potential profits of a casino venture and invested in them.