What Is a Casino?

A casino is a building or room in which games of chance are played. In modern times, such facilities rely on the attractions of stage shows and shopping centers to draw in customers, but casinos would not exist without the gambling aspect. The billions of dollars that casinos rake in each year come from the profits earned by people who play slot machines, blackjack, roulette and other table games.

The word “casino” has a much more specialized meaning than most Americans would think, referring not only to buildings in which casino games are played but also to the types of gamblers that patronize them. While some casinos focus on high rollers who spend tens of thousands of dollars per hour, others rely on more casual gamers to keep their doors open and their staffs employed.

When most Americans think of a casino, they envision one of the megaresorts in Las Vegas — a place that’s all about fun and games. But even smaller casinos have a certain glitz, and the business of running them is a complicated one.

Casinos must balance the needs of casual players, who are more interested in a stimulating environment than a large amount of money, with the need to attract big spenders and keep them coming back for more. The latter are rewarded with comps, or free goods and services, including discounted hotel rooms, free meals and tickets to shows. Ask a casino employee to learn how you can earn these perks.