What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons wager money by playing games of chance or skill. Casino games are played in a variety of settings, including land-based casinos, riverboats, cruise ships, and horse racing tracks. Modern casinos often feature entertainment facilities such as restaurants and bars, as well as a wide range of video and table games.

Casinos make billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that operate them. They also generate substantial revenue for the state and local governments that allow them to operate. In addition to profiting from gambling operations, many casinos are known for their perks that are designed to lure gamblers and reward them for their play. These perks are called comps and can include free hotel rooms, meals, tickets to shows, or even airline or limo service. They are typically based on the amount of time and money that the gambler spends at the casino.

In the past, casinos often offered these incentives to all of their customers, especially those who placed large bets. However, in the 1990s they became more selective and focused their attention on high-spenders. These gamblers were known as “high rollers” and were offered expensive comps such as limo services and luxury suites.

Because of the large amounts of cash handled within a casino, both patrons and employees may be tempted to cheat or steal. To prevent this, most casinos use a variety of security measures. These can include electronic devices in betting chips that monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels that are electronically monitored for any statistical deviation from expected results.