What is a Casino?


A casino is a building where people gamble and play games of chance. The patrons are a diverse bunch, from the high rollers who spend thousands of dollars to the grandmother who takes weekend bus trips and bets small amounts just for the fun of it. But they all share one thing in common – the desire to have a good time. With music blaring and coins clinking, the atmosphere is upbeat, even when things don’t go the players’ way.

Some casinos specialize in particular games. Roulette, for example, attracts big bettors and requires a low house edge of less than 1 percent; in contrast, craps appeals to smaller bettors and has a much higher house edge. Casinos also vary in how they treat their customers. They try to make the gambling experience unique and memorable, so that customers will come back again and again. For example, they often use bright and sometimes gaudy floor and wall coverings to stimulate the senses and make gamblers feel they are in a special place. They also try to minimize gamblers’ awareness of the passage of time by not posting clocks on their walls.

Modern casino facilities include a wide variety of games, including poker, blackjack, roulette, and slot machines. Many offer top-rated restaurants, spas, and hotels. The Las Vegas strip is home to the world’s largest casino-hotels, such as the Venetian and the Grand Lisboa. Other large casinos are in cities such as Macau, which has gone “all-in” on gaming and is sometimes called the Vegas of the East.