Top Categories

What Is a Casino?

What Is a Casino?

When most people think of casino, they imagine one of the megaresorts in Las Vegas – a massive hotel and entertainment complex blazing with neon lights and fun games. In actuality, casino is a broader term that encompasses many smaller businesses that specialize in the gambling industry. The most common types of gambling at casinos include card games, table games, slots and video poker. Some of these are regulated by state laws, while others are not.

The gambling business is notoriously competitive, so the owners of a casino go to great lengths to attract and keep gamblers. Large companies invest millions of dollars to determine what colors, sounds and smells are most appealing to patrons. Slot machines are computerized to make attractive noises, like whirring reels and the “cling clang” of coins dropping during a payout. The noises are electronically tuned to the musical key of C, so they will blend in with other sounds in a casino’s environment.

Most casinos have a mathematical expectation of profit for each game offered. They are also able to offer big bettors extravagant inducements, such as free spectacular entertainment, transportation and elegant living quarters. Incentives are given to lesser bettors as well, such as reduced-fare transportation and free drinks and food while gambling.

Gambling was illegal for most of America’s history, but that did not stop gangsters from moving into the business. They financed and operated casinos in Reno, Nevada, and later in Las Vegas, where the strip became famous for its flashy glitz and high-stakes gambling. But federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gaming license at even the slightest hint of mob involvement eventually forced the mobsters out of the gambling business.