A casino is an establishment for gambling, usually associated with hotels or resorts. They may also be combined with restaurants, retail shops or cruise ships. In the United States, casinos are often regulated by state law and may be located in or near hotels. The term has become widely used in the world outside of North America, where it is synonymous with a “gambling house.”
The Monte Carlo casino opened in 1863 and was designed by Charles Garnier (architect of the Paris opera) to be a classy entertainment center. Its rich history and high-profile clientele (including Princess Caroline of Monaco and the actor Marlene Dietrich) have made it famous. It has been featured in numerous movies, including the James Bond film Ocean’s 11.
As a business, a casino must operate within certain parameters to stay in business. That’s why it’s common to find a casino in or adjacent to hotels, and why many have grown into massive megacasinos with impressive size, beautiful decor and a mind-boggling number of games.
Casinos typically make most of their profits from big bettors, or “high rollers.” These players gamble in special rooms away from the main floor and often have a high bankroll. In return, the casino gives these patrons a variety of free amenities—everything from hotel rooms and food to limo service and airfare. These perks are called comps and are awarded to players depending on their level of play and the amount they spend at the casino.