What Is a Casino?


A casino is a place where a variety of games of chance are played and where gambling is the primary activity. While casinos add a host of amenities to attract patrons, they would not exist without games like slot machines, roulette, blackjack, poker and craps that generate billions in profits each year for casino owners and operators. Casinos are also a big source of revenue for states and cities that allow them.

Casinos are not only found in Las Vegas, but in a growing number of locations across the world. In the United States, a casino is usually associated with a hotel or resort. In some cases, the casino is integrated with other attractions and activities, such as a water show or a shopping mall. In other cases, the casino is separated from the hotel and is a standalone entertainment facility.

Many casinos are owned by individuals, corporations or other groups. Some are built on land, while others are located in ships or on boats that travel the oceans or rivers. Casino-type game machines are also sometimes placed in racetracks, creating racinos, and some state lotteries feature games that are similar to those found in casinos.

Casinos provide billions of dollars in annual profits for their owners, investors, companies and Native American tribes. But critics argue that the money they bring in diverts spending from other forms of entertainment and that the damage caused by compulsive gambling cancels out any economic gains.

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