What Is a Casino?

A casino is a facility for gambling with slot machines, table games (like blackjack and roulette) and sometimes entertainment shows. Casinos are regulated and operated by governments or private businesses and are usually heavily secured with cameras, security guards, and other technological measures. People who play at casinos are typically of legal age and must abide by gambling laws. Some casinos have a skill element to their games, and players with sufficient skills can reduce the house edge to zero or even make a profit.

A popular casino destination in America is Las Vegas, where gambling has helped the city become a global tourist attraction. Several states have legalized casinos, including Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Chicago. Casinos have also been built on Indian reservations, which are exempt from state anti-gambling laws.

Most American casinos offer a variety of table games and video poker machines, but their main economic source is slot machines and (since the 1980s) keno. These games are attractive to low-stakes gamblers, who can play for as little as five cents a spin. They are also easy to operate, requiring only a dollar or two per spin and providing fast action.

Other American casinos specialize in themed attractions and dining options. For example, the snazzy Planet Hollywood attracts a young crowd with its glitzy entertainment options and opulent decorations. Its stage hosts headliners like Kelly Clarkson and Christina Aguilera, and its Pleasure Pit is lined with burlesque dancers and movie memorabilia. Its upscale restaurants serve gourmet burgers and creative Asian dishes.