What Is a Casino?

A casino (from Spanish for “gambling house”) is an establishment for gambling. Typically, these are combined with hotels, restaurants and/or retail shops. They also feature entertainment such as concerts and stand up comedy. In some countries, casinos are regulated by law.

Modern casinos use a combination of technology and rules to enforce security. For example, some have catwalks in the ceiling that allow surveillance personnel to look directly down on players at tables and slots through one way glass. Many casinos require players to keep their cards visible at all times. In addition to cameras, some casinos employ a physical security force to patrol the facility and respond to reports of suspicious or definite criminal activity. Others have a specialized department that operates their closed circuit television system, known as the eye in the sky.

In 2005, the average casino gambler was a forty-six year old woman from a household with an above-average income. She played a variety of games but preferred slot machines to table games. High rollers are a main source of revenue for casinos and they are often given extravagant inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxurious living quarters and reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms.

In the United States, most casino gambling is in Las Vegas. However, the state of New York has legalized some gambling operations and there are casinos in other parts of the country as well. A resurgence of popularity for casinos is occurring in cities such as West Memphis, Arkansas where a 300 room hotel casino has been constructed.