A casino is a gambling establishment where people can gamble by playing games of chance. Slot machines, blackjack, poker, craps, baccarat and roulette are the main attractions that bring in billions of dollars for casino owners every year.
The ambiance of casinos is designed around noise, light and excitement. Alcoholic drinks are freely available and served to players by waiters circulating throughout the casino floor. The lights are bright and the floors are often covered in red carpeting, a color believed to have a stimulating effect on people. Clocks are usually not displayed, because it is thought that seeing them might cause gamblers to lose track of time and lose money. Casinos use chips instead of real money to make it less likely that players will be concerned about losing them.
In the early days of Las Vegas casinos, mobster money provided the funds to open and operate them. But once legitimate businessmen realized how much they could make, they bought out the mobsters and ran their own casinos without the mob’s interference. Today, federal regulations and the threat of losing a casino license for even the slightest hint of mafia involvement keep the mob out of the gambling business.
Casinos are most often located in cities with high populations of people who like to gamble and have the income to do so. But they also can be found on American Indian reservations, which are not subject to state antigambling laws, and in some European countries.