What Is a Casino?


A casino is a facility for gambling. It can also be known as a gaming house, gambling den, or casinno (from the Italian word for “small box”). Depending on jurisdiction and game type, casinos may offer a wide range of games and betting limits. They often include food venues and entertainment shows. Some casinos specialize in certain types of games, such as video poker or slot machines.

In the 1990s, casinos began integrating technology into their operations. Elaborate surveillance systems give security personnel a high-tech eye in the sky that can be adjusted to focus on specific suspicious patrons. Computerized systems in table games monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute and alert personnel when statistical deviations appear. Roulette wheels are electronically monitored to discover if they are rigged.

Besides technological measures, casinos use a variety of strategies to persuade gamblers to spend more than they plan to. For example, the color red is used throughout a casino to stimulate gamblers’ appetites and emotions. In addition, there are few clocks visible in a casino, because the casino wants its patrons to lose track of time and continue gambling.

Most casinos reward players who make large bets or play for long periods of time by giving them free rooms, meals and show tickets. This is called comping. The best comps are offered to high-volume players who gamble heavily and have large enough bankrolls to qualify. A casino will usually give such players a hotel room with a view of the largest of the three waterfalls at Niagara Falls.