What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment that offers games of chance and skill. It may also offer other entertainment and amenities, such as restaurants, stage shows and dramatic scenery. There are many different types of casinos, from the Las Vegas strip to racinos at horse racetracks. Casino-type games are also sometimes found in truck stops, bars and grocery stores. Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors and Native American tribes that own them. The profits also benefit state and local governments through taxes and other fees.

Casinos are vulnerable to crime and theft because of the large amounts of money that pass through their doors. Both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal, either in collusion with each other or independently. To prevent such behavior, casinos employ a variety of security measures. These range from simple cameras that monitor every table, change window and doorway to a high-tech “eye-in-the-sky” system that allows security personnel to watch the entire casino at once from a room filled with banks of monitors.

In 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment estimated that about 51 million people–about one quarter of all adults over age 21 in the United States–visited a casino. The average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income. These people tend to have more vacation time and discretionary spending money than other age groups. Casinos often reward their best players with free hotel rooms, show tickets and other perks.