A casino, also known as a gambling house or a gaming room, is an establishment for certain types of gambling. Some casinos specialize in one game, while others offer a wide variety of games. In addition to gambling, a casino can host live entertainment events such as stand-up comedy and concerts. Some casinos are built near or combined with hotels, resorts, restaurants, retail shops, cruise ships and other tourist attractions.
In the United States, casinos are legal in 40 states, although most are concentrated in Nevada and New Jersey. Las Vegas is the largest gambling city in the world, followed by Atlantic City and Chicago. Casinos are most often located in or near towns with high concentrations of tourists.
The casino business is highly competitive, and to attract customers casinos offer a variety of incentives. Free food and drinks are offered to keep gamblers inside the casino, and chips instead of cash help to prevent them from worrying about losing real money. In order to reduce the psychological sting of losing, some casinos use bright and gaudy floor and wall coverings that stimulate the senses and encourage gamblers to stay longer. Despite these efforts, the casino business is a risky enterprise. Many casinos have been robbed or defrauded by employees and patrons.
In the twentieth century, casinos have become more discerning about whom they let gamble in their facilities. They tend to focus more on “high rollers” who spend much more than the average gambler and whose play is rated by the casino as worthy of comps (free goods or services). These people often gamble in special rooms away from the main casino floor and are given luxury suites and other personal attention.