What Is a Casino?


A casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance are offered and gambling is the primary activity. While casinos add restaurants, free drinks and stage shows to lure patrons, they would not exist without games like slot machines, roulette, blackjack, baccarat, craps and keno that provide the billions of dollars in profits casinos generate each year.

Despite being heavily guarded, casinos are very much open to the public. Almost anyone can go to a casino and play any of its games, though patrons are usually required to show identification before playing. Most casinos also use elaborate surveillance systems, with cameras that offer a high-tech eye-in-the-sky view of the floor and all its rooms and windows. The cameras are adjusted by security staff in a room filled with banks of monitors. The system helps casino management keep an eye on what is happening in all areas of the facility and quickly spot cheating or suspicious behavior.

Casinos try to create a sense of mystery and glamour to attract patrons and make them feel special. They decorate with opulent fabrics, rich colors and carefully chosen lighting that is meant to reflect the image of wealth and sophistication. The Bellagio in Las Vegas, whose dancing fountains have been featured in movies like James Bond’s Golden Eye and Eugene Levy’s Once Upon A Crime, is one of the most famous casinos in the world. Casinos are also often built near or combined with hotels, resorts, cruise ships and retail shops.