What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment where customers gamble by playing games of chance or skill, such as roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack, and video poker. Some casinos also have dining and entertainment options. Casinos are most often located in large cities or tourist destinations. Some are owned and operated by major hotel chains. Others are standalone facilities. The precise origin of gambling is unclear, but it has long been an integral part of human culture.

A significant portion of casino revenue comes from high-stakes gamblers. These gamblers are typically affluent people from the business or professional classes who have free time and disposable income to spend on gambling. In 2005, Harrah’s Entertainment reported that the average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income.

To attract these high rollers, casinos focus on customer service and provide them with a variety of perks. In addition to alcoholic drinks served in bars, they offer complimentary items (known as comps) such as free rooms, show tickets, and food. Casinos also offer tournaments and competitive games where players compete against each other for prizes.

Many modern casinos use technology to monitor and control the games. For example, in table games such as baccarat and roulette, electronic systems keep track of the amounts wagered minute by minute. This allows the casino to quickly discover any discrepancies. In some cases, the casino employs a technique called “chip tracking,” in which betting chips with built-in microcircuitry interact with sensors to ensure that the total amount wagered is accurate.