What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play games of chance for money. It usually offers multiple gambling activities and has luxurious features such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows. It also has a variety of other services such as social clubs and poker rooms. Some casinos are located in the United States and others are found around the world. Some of these places are regulated and licensed by the state in which they operate. Others are not regulated and therefore do not have the same level of service as a regulated one.

Casinos generate a lot of money by taking advantage of the fact that gambling is addictive. Many compulsive gamblers generate a disproportionate amount of casino profits; five percent of casino patrons are addicted and contribute 25 percent of revenue [Source: PBS]. Some economists argue that the net impact of a casino on local economies is negative, because it diverts entertainment dollars from other businesses; increases crime rates; and lowers property values in nearby neighborhoods.

Due to the large amounts of money handled by a casino, patrons and staff may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or independently. This is why most casinos have security measures in place, including CCTV cameras. In addition, most casinos use chips instead of real currency, as this helps to avoid bribery and corruption. Elaborate surveillance systems provide an eye-in-the-sky view of the entire floor and can be focused on suspicious customers by security workers in a separate room filled with banks of monitors.