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What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for playing games of chance. These include, but are not limited to, blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette. The word casino may also be used to refer to a large building that houses one or more of these establishments. In addition to a gambling area, a casino may contain entertainment venues and/or restaurants.

In 2008, 24% of American adults reported visiting a casino in the previous year. Among those who did visit a casino, the most popular casino game was slot machines (see Figure 3.6). Close behind were card games such as blackjack and poker. Other games included bingo and keno, as well as sports and race betting. Table games such as baccarat, sic bo, and fan-tan were less popular.

Because casinos are businesses that must make a profit in order to survive, the mathematical odds are always against game players. Therefore, they must entice gamblers with free spectacular entertainment, hotel rooms, and luxury living quarters. High rollers are especially attractive to casinos because their bets often run into the tens of thousands of dollars.

The Bellagio in Las Vegas is perhaps the best-known casino. It has been featured in countless movies and is known for its stunning fountain show and luxury accommodations. However, the casino is not the only one with a reputation for glamour. The Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco and the Casino Lisboa in Portugal are also famous. Many state-owned or operated casinos have also gained a reputation for their lavish offerings of games and amenities.