What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that allows patrons to play various games of chance for money or other prizes. It’s also known as a gaming room or a cardroom. In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state or provincial governments, with some being operated by Native American tribes.

A successful casino can pull in billions of dollars a year for its owners, investors, and shareholders, as well as for local, state, and federal governments that collect taxes or fees from gamblers. In addition to its gaming facilities, many casinos have restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues that feature top pop, rock, and jazz musicians.

The word “casino” is derived from the Italian casa, meaning “house.” Early casino buildings were simply houses converted to gambling facilities. Today, they’re elaborate, multi-story buildings with dining, entertainment, and meeting spaces. Many are attached to hotels or resorts, retail shopping, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions.

Most casinos offer a wide range of games, including baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette. They also have an array of high-tech video and slot machines. Some even offer live dealer tables.

To attract and retain customers, casinos often offer “comps,” or complimentary goods and services, such as free hotel rooms, meals, show tickets, and limo service for big bettors. These perks are calculated to maximize the amount of money players spend on casino gambling, and they’re usually based on how long and how much a player plays a particular game or on how large his or her bets are.

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