What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can play games of chance and gamble. It’s also a place where stage shows, lavish hotels, restaurants and other attractions draw tourists in for the chance to win money. While casinos can add a lot of extras to attract visitors, they can’t exist without the games themselves, which include slots, roulette, blackjack, poker, craps and other dice-based gambling games.

Gambling has been legal in Nevada since 1931. Until then, most states made it illegal to run such establishments. Legitimate businessmen were wary of the industry, which had a taint of vice attached to it due to its association with organized crime figures and their rackets. The mob’s willingness to fund and run casinos gave the industry a boost, but it did little to change its seamy image.

As the casino industry grew, more state governments began to allow it. The first large-scale operation outside of Nevada was in Atlantic City, New Jersey. The casino became a popular tourist destination, and the industry expanded quickly.

Today’s modern casino is like an indoor amusement park for adults. It is often crowded, noisy and filled with people trying to win big money. While glitzy shows, hotel rooms and shopping areas help draw in customers, the vast majority of revenue comes from gambling. Each game has its own built in statistical advantage, usually less than two percent, which gives the house a significant profit over time and helps pay for the hotels, fountains, pyramids and replicas of famous landmarks that are the hallmarks of many casinos.