What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people gamble and play games of chance. Your grandmother may have enjoyed taking weekend bus trips to the nearest casino with friends. Casinos are in business to make money; they rake in billions each year for the casinos, investors, corporations and Native American tribes that own and operate them. Local governments and state agencies also reap casino revenues.

Casinos are carefully designed to influence visitors’ behavior and keep them playing for as long as possible. One approach is known as classic casino design, which features intimate, windowless spaces with enticing slot machines and cozy decor. Another approach, called playground design, focuses on a more playful atmosphere with high ceilings and easy-to-navigate layouts that encourage people to stay longer and play more games.

Unlike Internet gambling, which is played alone, many casino games involve social interaction with other players or with dealers who manage the game. These games are usually conducted at tables and include card games like poker, dice games like craps and roulette and wheel games like baccarat. Some casino games are also conducted individually, such as video poker.

Whether they are playing at a casino in Las Vegas, Reno or some other city, most players want to win some of the casino’s “house edge.” That advantage is typically less than two percent and can vary depending on the specific rules of each game and the skills of the player. That’s why skilled mathematicians and computer programmers who specialize in gaming analysis are important to the casino industry.