What is a Casino?


A casino is a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance or skill. The casino industry brings in billions each year for the corporations, investors and Native American tribes that own and operate them, as well as state and local governments that collect taxes and fees. Modern casinos are like indoor amusement parks, complete with lighted fountains, shopping centers and elaborate themes. But they would not exist without the gambling that provides the majority of their profits. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps and keno are among the most popular casino games.

A large part of the modern casino business was built by organized crime. Mob figures had plenty of money from drug dealing and extortion, and were willing to invest it in Reno and Las Vegas, even though they feared the seamy image associated with gambling. The mobsters also diversified into other casinos in other states, often taking sole or partial ownership.

The average casino patron is a middle-aged woman with above-average income. According to the 2005 National Profile Study by Roper Reports and the U.S. Gaming Panel by TNS, most casino gamblers have some college experience or an associate’s degree. Many casinos offer a variety of poker games, including baccarat, chemin de fer, and trente et quarante. In addition, they offer table games such as blackjack and Caribbean stud poker. Most of these games have a statistical advantage for the house, which is how they make their money.