What Is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment that offers various games of chance and, in some cases, skill. Many casinos combine gambling with other attractions, such as restaurants and shows. In American English, the word is sometimes used to refer to a particular game, such as blackjack or video poker. In other languages, it can mean any of a variety of gambling activities.

The term casino is often associated with Las Vegas, although it may also refer to other gambling facilities located outside of that city. There are over 200 casinos in the United States, and they generate more than $30 billion a year in revenue. In addition, the casinos contribute more than $100 million annually to local governments in taxes.

While there are a number of factors that influence whether someone gambles, one of the most significant is their economic status. Those with below-average incomes are much less likely to gamble, while those with above-average incomes are more likely to do so. In 2005, for example, the average casino patron was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income.

Most modern casinos are equipped with a variety of surveillance systems, including closed circuit television. The system is referred to as an eye in the sky, and it allows security personnel to monitor every table, window, and doorway from a central control room. Most casinos also have a physical security force, who patrol the casino and respond to calls for assistance or reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity.