What Is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room used for social amusements, particularly gambling. The term may also refer to an establishment that provides organized recreational activities, such as bingo.

When most Americans think of a casino, they envision one of the massive resorts in Las Vegas – a place filled with neon lights, fun, and games. In reality, however, most casinos are smaller businesses focused on promoting the various forms of gambling they offer.

Like any business in a capitalist society, the casino exists to make money. The successful ones rake in billions of dollars each year for the corporations, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. The state and local governments that regulate them also reap substantial revenue from the taxes, fees, and other payments they collect.

The average casino gambler is a forty-six-year-old female with above-average income. The majority of gamblers are married, and the vast majority go to a casino with friends or family members. A 2002 survey conducted for the American Gaming Association by Peter D. Hart Research Associates, Inc., and the Luntz Research Companies found that 82% of those surveyed consider casino gambling acceptable.

Most casinos concentrate their investments on high rollers, or gamblers who wager large sums of money. These high-spenders often gamble in special rooms that are separate from the main casino floor. They also receive comps, or complimentary benefits, such as free food, drinks, and shows. Comps allow the casino to develop a database of patron information that can be used for future marketing efforts.

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