What is a Casino?

A Casino is a public place where a variety of games of chance can be played, and gambling is the primary activity. Often, casinos add many luxuries such as restaurants, free drinks, and stage shows to draw customers. But even less fancy places that house gambling activities can be called a Casino.

In the United States, legal casinos grew in number throughout the 20th century, and Las Vegas is now home to massive megacasinos. The mobsters who ran most of the early casinos were driven out by government crackdowns, and real estate investors and hotel chains realized they could make much more money by running them without mob interference. Donald Trump, for example, owns several casinos, and the Hilton hotel company has numerous properties that feature gaming.

The vast majority of people who visit casinos play slot machines, but there are a few other games that are commonly found in some casinos, such as baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. Some casinos also feature Far Eastern games, such as sic bo (which spread to some European and American casinos in the 1990s), fan-tan, and pai-gow.

In general, casinos attract older, wealthier people who have the time and money to gamble. According to a 2005 survey by Roper Reports GfK NOP, the average casino patron is a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income. The survey also indicates that 24% of American adults have visited a casino in the past year.