What Is a Casino?


Casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and some with an element of skill. The profits from these games give casinos enough money to build elaborate hotels, fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. In addition to gaming, most casinos offer dining, shopping and entertainment. Some casinos also have meeting and conference facilities.

Many people think that the only purpose of a casino is to gamble, but there are many other things a casino can do. Most casinos feature a large variety of casino games such as slot machines, roulette, blackjack and poker. Some also feature a sports book and non-gambling game rooms.

Modern casinos have made heavy use of technology to increase security and efficiency. For example, chips have built-in microcircuitry that enables them to be tracked minute by minute; roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover any statistical deviations quickly. Video cameras are used to monitor general security, and players at card tables must keep their cards visible at all times.

Casinos have come a long way since their origins as mob-owned enclaves in the early twentieth century. Now, real estate investors and hotel chains have the deep pockets to own and operate their own casinos without mob interference. However, the casino business still has its dark side. Studies indicate that gambling addictions generate a disproportionately large percentage of casino profits, and that the economic costs of treatment and lost productivity by compulsive gamblers often outweigh any financial benefits a casino might bring to a community.