What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can play games of chance. These facilities feature gaming tables for card games and dice, as well as slot machines. Some casinos also offer live entertainment and dining. Casinos are found around the world in locations such as Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore. They are often combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shopping, cruise ships and other tourist attractions.

A successful casino generates billions of dollars in profits each year for the corporations, investors and Native American tribes that own them. It also brings in tax revenue for local governments. The games themselves range from the popular baccarat and blackjack to less familiar far Eastern games such as sic bo, fan-tan and pai gow. Some American casinos also offer craps and roulette.

Many people think that a casino is simply a place to gamble, but there is more to the story than that. The casinos that are most successful provide customers with a total experience, including noise, excitement and glamour. They entice customers with free room and board, food and drinks, discounted show tickets and transportation. These perks are known as comps.

As early as the 1950s, mobster money began flowing into Reno and Las Vegas. But mobsters wanted more than just a financial investment, and they fought to control the operations of these new businesses, even going as far as hiring crooks to manage them. Eventually, real estate investors and hotel chains with deep pockets bought out the mobster interests, and the casino industry became a legitimate business.