What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for certain types of gambling. The modern casino is much like an indoor amusement park for adults, with the vast majority of the entertainment (and profits for the owners) coming from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, keno and more provide the billions of dollars in profits raked in by casinos each year.

While musical shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help draw in the crowds, casinos would not exist without games of chance. From ancient Mesopotamia and Rome, through the Renaissance and Napoleon’s France, gambling in one form or another has been popular throughout history.

Modern casinos are designed around noise, light and excitement to persuade people to gamble. They often have elaborate themes and are arranged in a maze-like fashion to keep patrons wandering in search of more gambling opportunities. More than 15,000 miles of neon tubing lights the casino strip in Las Vegas. Casinos make money by taking advantage of human emotions, primarily fear and greed, to persuade people to spend more than they intend to.

There’s no doubt that casino gambling is addictive and can have devastating consequences for individuals, families, communities and the economy. Casinos also have a dark side, as they’re known for encouraging people to cheat and steal in order to win big. This is why casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security. Elaborate surveillance systems include an “eye-in-the-sky” with cameras that watch every table, window and doorway. These cameras can be adjusted to focus on suspicious patrons by casino security workers stationed in a room filled with banks of security monitors.