What Is a Casino?


A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming hall, is a place where various types of gambling games can be played. Casinos are often combined with hotels, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships or other tourist attractions.

Something about gambling (probably the fact that large amounts of money are involved) seems to encourage both patrons and staff to cheat or steal, either in collusion with one another or independently. That’s why casinos invest a great deal of time, effort and money on security measures. Cameras throughout the facility and a high-tech system that monitors betting chips with built-in microcircuitry enable them to track exactly how much is being wagered minute by minute, and roulette wheels are electronically monitored to detect any statistical deviation.

While mob money continued to flow into Reno and Las Vegas, legitimate businessmen were reluctant to get involved with casinos, which still carried a taint of mafia involvement. Then real estate investors and hotel chains saw how much they could make from casinos, bought out the gangsters and began operating them without mob interference. Federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a license for even the slightest hint of mob involvement now keep the Mafia away from its gambling cash cows.

Casinos are designed to keep people gambling, and their design includes everything from the color of the carpeting to the size and layout of the seating. If you want to find the “hot” slots, ask a casino employee, who sees thousands of gamblers each week, where the best machines are. They may be willing to share this information in exchange for a generous tip.