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What is a Casino?


A casino is a gambling establishment with games of chance. It also offers food and drink. Its name is derived from the Latin word for “house of joy.” Casinos are popular with people looking for thrills, a chance to win big money or just an escape from everyday life. The most famous casinos in the world are located in Las Vegas, Monaco and Macau.

In 2008, about 24% of Americans had visited a casino in the previous year. The most common gambling activities were playing slot machines (about 50% of all casino visits), card games such as blackjack and poker, and wagering on sporting events and racing. Other less-popular activities included bingo and keno.

Most modern casinos use technology to prevent cheating and stealing by patrons. Security cameras monitor the casino floor and the tables, and computers track player spending habits. Some casinos use chips with built-in microcircuitry that allow them to monitor the amount of money wagered minute by minute; others employ electronic devices on roulette wheels to discover any deviation from the expected payout percentage.

Casinos also attempt to create a sense of excitement and energy by using sound systems, bright colors, and noise to encourage gamblers to continue betting. Some casinos feature jukeboxes and live performers. The Bellagio in Las Vegas is one of the most famous, with its dazzling fountain show.

Many casinos target high-stakes gamblers, offering them special rooms, limo service, and other perks to keep them gambling. From the casino’s perspective, these players make more money than the average customer and are worth investing in.