What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. In modern usage, the term is most often applied to a large building designed to host such gambling activities, but it may also refer to an entire city or district. The word is a portmanteau of the Latin casino, meaning “little house,” and it is closely associated with the idea of a secret place where people can meet to gamble and socialize.

While musical shows, lighted fountains and lavish hotels all help draw in visitors, casinos wouldn’t exist without the games of chance that provide the billions of dollars in profits they bring in every year. Blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are all popular casino games. Many American casinos also feature Far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow.

The casino business is a highly competitive one. To keep their profits high, casinos offer a variety of perks to encourage and reward gamblers. These are known as comps and can include free hotel rooms, dinners, show tickets and even limo service. Comps are based on the amount of money that the player spends and the type of game played.

In addition to a focus on customer service, casinos try to stay safe by monitoring their customers’ behavior. For example, they have cameras installed in almost all of their gaming areas. They also watch the patterns that players follow when they play, such as how they move their arms and legs at a poker table or the way in which they shuffle and deal cards. This way, security can quickly spot any suspicious activity.