What Is a Casino?

A casino is a gambling establishment where patrons can gamble for real money. Some casinos offer table games, like blackjack and roulette, while others have slot machines and other electronic gaming devices. A casino can also host events, such as poker tournaments. The gambling industry is regulated in most jurisdictions. In the United States, casino gambling is legal in Nevada and on Native American reservations. In many other countries, however, casinos are illegal.

The main purpose of a casino is to attract and keep customers by offering them various incentives. These may include free drinks, snacks, hotel rooms, and show tickets. These are called comps. In addition, casinos try to make their premises as attractive as possible by using bright colors and gaudy decor. For example, more than 15,000 miles (24,100 km) of neon tubing illuminate the casino floors on the Las Vegas Strip. The brightness of these lights is designed to appeal to the human sense of sight, while the sounds of bells and clanging coins are appealing to the ear.

Because of the large amounts of money involved, casinos are susceptible to both cheating and theft by employees and patrons. To prevent this, casinos employ a variety of security measures. For instance, most casinos have video surveillance systems to monitor the activities of guests and staff. In addition, most casinos have policies against smoking and drinking in public areas. Some have additional policies to deal with specific types of crimes, such as assault and robbery.