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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where people play gambling games. The games played there may include slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, and other types of gambling. Casinos also offer entertainment and are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. In some countries, casinos are licensed and regulated by government agencies. In the United States, casinos are primarily private enterprises.

A modern casino offers a wide variety of experiences, including prime dining and performance venues where rock, pop, jazz and other artists come to perform for guests. But the main attraction at any casino is still the gaming floor. The biggest ones have thousands of slots and hundreds of table games. But even smaller casinos can have a good mix of games.

Casinos are protected by cameras and other security measures, but cheaters are a real problem. Dealers keep their eyes on the tables, watching for blatant palming and marking, and can quickly spot suspicious betting patterns. But some casinos use catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down, through one-way glass, on the games and patrons.

Gambling addiction is a real problem and a huge drain on the economy. Studies show that the money lost to compulsive gambling can reverse any economic gains a casino brings in. Moreover, the cost of treating problem gamblers and the loss in productivity from lost wages can negate any benefit casinos might bring to a local community.