What is a Casino?

Casino is a gambling establishment, usually a large building or series of buildings, where games of chance and skill are played. Most casinos feature a wide variety of table and slot games, but some specialize in particular types of gambling such as poker or horse racing. They also often include restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. They bring in billions of dollars each year for their owners, investors and local governments.

In the United States, there are more than 3,000 casinos. They range in size from massive resorts to small card rooms. Casinos are located in cities and towns, at racetracks – called racinos – and even on boats and barges on waterways across the country. They employ thousands of people and generate enormous profits for their owners, local governments and Native American tribes.


Casinos earn their money by taking a percentage of bets placed by patrons. This is known as the house edge or vig, and it can be less than two percent in some games. Combined with the profits from other activities such as restaurant and hotel operations, this revenue stream allows casinos to build giant fountains, towers and replicas of famous landmarks. They also offer free or reduced-fare transportation, room discounts and tickets to shows and sporting events. They also use electronic cards that can be swiped before each game to tally up comp points that can be redeemed for free slots play or other prizes.