What is a Casino?


A casino is a building or room where gambling games are played. The games are usually of a chance, but some have an element of skill, such as craps, roulette, blackjack and video poker. Casinos make money by taking a percentage of bets, or “vigorish” or “rake”, and by offering complimentary items to players, such as food and drinks. Some casinos also have shows or other entertainment. The most famous casino is in Las Vegas, although there are others in Atlantic City and other cities.

Something about the gambling environment (or perhaps the large amounts of money involved) seems to encourage cheating, stealing and scamming to get an edge over other patrons. Thus, casinos spend a great deal of time and effort on security measures.

In addition, because gambling is a highly social activity, casinos often try to create an exciting and festive atmosphere by adding music, lights and other distractions. For example, red is a common decorating color because it is thought to stimulate the senses and inspire excitement. Casinos also frequently provide free food and drinks to gamblers, and some offer reduced-fare transportation and hotel rooms to high rollers.

Movies about casinos are popular, with films such as Casino Royale and Ocean’s Eleven achieving great success. But it is Robert De Niro’s portrayal of Sam Rothstein in Casino that most people will remember. He is both charismatic and frightening, a worldly hustler who knows that love and trust are not factors in his line of work.