What is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often built near or combined with hotels, restaurants, resorts, retail shops, cruise ships, and other tourist attractions. Some casinos are also known for hosting live entertainment events, such as stand-up comedy, concerts, and sports.

Many people enjoy going to a casino with family and friends or as part of a group activity such as a club or a travel agency package deal. In 2003 a Gallup Organization poll reported that 32% of Americans go to a casino for fun and excitement. A Harrah’s survey reported that the typical American casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old woman from a household with above-average income.

Casinos strive to keep their patrons happy by offering a variety of perks, called comps. These can include free or discounted meals, drinks, shows, and room rates. Some casinos also run frequent-flyer programs in which patrons are swiped an electronic card before each game to track their playing and spending habits. The resulting data helps casinos develop customer profiles and market to them accordingly.

The most successful casinos make billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. They also generate millions of dollars in taxes and fees for local governments. In the case of games that involve some skill, such as blackjack and poker, casinos earn money by charging a commission on each hand dealt, a practice known as a “rake.” Mathematicians and computer programmers who analyze the odds and payouts for various casino games are sometimes referred to as gaming mathematicians or gaming analysts.