What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling house, is a place where people play games of chance or skill for money. These establishments are usually built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops and cruise ships. In the United States, casinos are licensed and regulated by state governments.

The most successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. They also generate revenue for local, state and provincial governments through taxes and fees. Casinos can be found in massive resorts and smaller card rooms, as well as in truck stops, bars, and grocery stores. Some states have even legalized casinos on riverboats and at racetracks.

While the games of chance at a casino may be the primary attraction, most gamblers are also drawn by the social aspect of the experience. The noise, bright lights and the cheering of other players create an exciting environment that can be addictive. In addition, the casinos encourage their patrons to spend more by providing a variety of free perks.

Many of these perks are offered to high rollers, or those who consistently gamble large amounts of money. These perks can include discounted or free room rates, meals, show tickets and drink services. The casinos tally up a patron’s spending and gaming activity by using cards that are swiped at the tables or machines. These cards, called comps, enable the casino to track a customer’s gaming habits and provide personalized service.