What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building or facility where people can gamble and play games of chance. They are often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, shopping centers, cruise ships and other tourist attractions.

The Games That Make the Casinos Money

Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat provide the billions of dollars that casinos rake in each year. While musical shows, lighted fountains, lavish hotels and elaborate themes help draw in guests, casinos would not exist without gambling.

The Casino’s Strategy for Attracting Gamblers

Casinos want gamblers to have a five-star good time. That means having a variety of slot machines, free drinks, luxury suites, clubs, pools and concerts that all aim to keep them betting, explains a New Yorker article from 2002.

The casino’s approach to safety

It’s important for a casino to be safe, so it employs security personnel. These workers are responsible for spotting suspicious behavior. They watch for the telltale signs that a player is gambling too much and for catching the players who are breaking rules or engaging in other illegal activities.

The Dark Side of the Casinos

The mobsters of Las Vegas had plenty of money from their drug deals and extortion rackets, but they weren’t content with just providing the bankroll for their casino businesses. They became personally involved and took ownership or part ownership of a number of casinos.

Real estate investors and hotel chains had much more money than the mobsters, so they bought out the mob and started running legitimate casino businesses. Federal crackdowns and the possibility of losing a gaming license at even the smallest hint of Mafia involvement have helped to keep the mob out of legitimate casinos.