What Is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can play a variety of games of chance for money. Most casinos offer a wide range of amenities to encourage gambling, such as restaurants, free drinks and stage shows.

Casinos are also a common tourist destination, and many of them have become famous for their glamorous atmosphere. In the United States, the best known casino is probably the Bellagio in Las Vegas, which features a fountain show and a branch of New York’s Le Cirque restaurant. Other famous casinos include the Caesars Palace and the Wynn in Las Vegas, and the MGM Grand in Reno.

Because of the large amounts of money that are handled, casinos spend a lot of time and effort on security. Staff members are trained to watch for any blatant cheating or stealing, and many casinos use cameras throughout their buildings. Casinos are also a favorite haunt of organized crime figures, and mob money has helped keep some casinos in business during the 1950s and 1960s. But as more legitimate businessmen got into the industry, and federal laws made it harder for organized crime to buy out or influence casino owners, mob control of casinos faded away.

Today, most casinos concentrate their resources on attracting and rewarding high-volume gamblers. These “high rollers” usually gamble in special rooms off the main casino floor, and are given extravagant inducements to come back, such as free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms or even luxury suites. This strategy has helped increase revenue and profit for casinos, while helping them avoid the risk of losing money to organized crime.