What is a Casino?

A casino is a place where people can gamble by playing games of chance or skill. It can also be an entertainment venue, with stage shows and dramatic scenery. It is often a themed attraction, like the Bellagio fountain show in Las Vegas or the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco. Some casinos are even renowned for their luxury accommodations and world class dining.

Casinos are often brightly colored and have gaudy floor and wall coverings designed to stimulate the senses and make the patron lose track of time. Many have red chandeliers hanging from soaring ceilings, and many do not display clocks at all. Some are decorated with classical murals and other art. The goal is to create a mood that makes the player forget all about his or her problems and focus solely on winning.

As gambling became more popular, mob money flowed into Reno and Las Vegas. Mobster investors took full or partial ownership of casinos and even influenced the results of individual games. As the mob’s power waned, legitimate businessmen with deep pockets bought out their interests and established their own casinos. Federal crackdowns and the threat of losing a gambling license at the slightest hint of mob involvement now keep the mafia away from casinos.

Most casinos are designed to be attractive to high bettors. This is because they make most of their profits from these individuals, who are known as “high rollers.” Casinos provide these bettors with lavish inducements such as free spectacular entertainment, luxury living quarters, and transportation.