What is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons wager money on games of chance, or with some skill. Most casinos offer a variety of card, dice, and table games such as roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, and craps. Some casinos also have video and other electronic games such as keno and slot machines. Casinos also sell food and beverages to patrons. In the United States the gambling industry is regulated by state law and a variety of federal laws. In 2008 24% of adults reported having visited a casino.

Many casinos attract customers by offering extravagant inducements to gamble. In the 1970s Las Vegas casinos offered discounted travel packages and cheap buffets in order to fill hotel rooms and casino floors. More recently, casinos have concentrated their efforts to attract high rollers who spend a large percentage of their time at the tables and receive comps worth thousands of dollars.

The typical casino gambler in 2005 was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with above-average income. Her main source of entertainment was the casino floor, where she spent most of her time playing slot machines. In contrast, table games such as poker and blackjack and other regulated games attracted less than 10% of her time. Other activities such as bingo, keno, and gambling on sports/racing events were far less popular. The emergence of new types of gambling in America has made the traditional American casino more diverse. As a result, the number of casino visits has grown steadily.