What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble on games of chance. It is not just any gambling establishment, though; it has to meet certain requirements and add a lot of extras to make it a true casino. Generally, a casino is a place that houses gaming facilities like poker rooms, slot machines and table games. It also has dining and drinking facilities and often features stage shows or other events. In the United States, it is estimated that 51 million people visited casinos in 2002 alone.

Something about gambling (maybe the presence of large sums of money) seems to encourage patrons and staff to cheat and steal. This is why casinos spend a lot of time and money on security measures.

Some of the more obvious security measures include a wide variety of surveillance cameras, which can be monitored in real-time through remote systems. There are also catwalks that allow casino security personnel to look down through one-way glass at the casino floor and the players at the tables. Other more subtle security measures involve the routines and patterns of each casino game. For example, the way a dealer shuffles and deals cards or dice follows specific patterns that are easy for security to spot.

The most famous casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which has a reputation for elegance and sophistication and was featured in the 2001 movie Ocean’s 11. Its high-end dining options and breathtaking art installations also draw in customers. However, economic studies suggest that casinos actually do more harm than good in a community; they take revenue away from other forms of local entertainment and cause problem gamblers to lose more money than they win.