What Is a Casino?

A casino is an establishment for gambling. Casinos can be massive resorts, like the ones in Las Vegas, or smaller facilities devoted to specific games, such as poker or baccarat. There are also casino-type game machines in bars and restaurants, as well as on cruise ships and at some racetracks (racinos). Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them, as well as for state and local governments that regulate them and collect taxes on gaming revenues.

Because of the large amount of money involved, casinos are a prime target for cheating and theft by patrons and employees. To prevent this, most modern casinos employ security measures such as cameras and specialized surveillance departments. In addition, they use bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings that are intended to distract gamblers and make them lose track of time; no clocks are displayed anywhere inside a casino.

The modern casino has diversified its offerings to attract and keep customers. Many offer gourmet food and opulent living quarters in addition to their gaming floors. The Casino Lisboa in Lisbon, Portugal is a fine example, with its avant-garde design and wide selection of table and slot machines. Across the globe, casino complexes include top-notch hotels, restaurants, spas, and live entertainment venues. The Venetian Macau in Asia is perhaps the best-known, with its stunning appearance and huge selection of games and amenities.