What Is a Casino?


A casino is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Casinos are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. Some casinos host live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy, concerts or sports.

While glitzy shows, lighted fountains, shopping centers and lavish hotels help to lure in customers, the majority of a casino’s profits (and the fun) come from gambling games. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are some of the many games that provide the billions of dollars in profit that casinos rake in each year.

The casino industry grew rapidly after Nevada became the first state to legalize gambling in the 1970s. During the 1980s and 1990s, casino gambling expanded to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and Iowa’s riverboat casinos. In addition, casinos began appearing on American Indian reservations.

Casinos use a variety of security measures to protect their patrons and assets. Most of these measures are not visible to players, but include sophisticated cameras that monitor the gaming floor and slot machines. In some cases, the cameras are connected to computers that track player activities minute-by-minute and alert security personnel if any suspicious activity occurs.

Some casinos have catwalks built into the ceiling, allowing surveillance staff to look down through one-way glass at the tables and slots. More advanced casinos have a high-tech “eye in the sky” system that lets security personnel watch every table, window and doorway simultaneously. For example, Casino Lisboa in Portugal has a system that can detect any movement and then focus on the specific area of interest.