A casino is a place where gambling is permitted and, in many cases, encouraged. While modern casinos have become much more lavish places, even the most basic facilities that house gambling activities would technically be considered a casino. Most casinos offer dining, free drinks and stage shows, among other luxuries, to lure players.
A large part of a casino’s profits come from high-stakes gamblers. These players are referred to as “high rollers” because they typically gamble with stakes in the tens of thousands of dollars. In order to attract high rollers, most casinos will offer them comps, which are complimentary items that can include free hotel rooms, dinner, tickets to shows and even airline tickets. This practice is known as “chumming,” and is intended to encourage gamblers to play longer and more often.
Some people claim that the social and economic harm caused by compulsive gambling cancel out any initial revenue generated by a casino. In addition, they say that local businesses suffer because casino patrons shift spending from other forms of entertainment, and that the cost of treating problem gambling addiction and lost productivity by workers addicted to gambling offset any profits that a casino may generate.
Although it is possible to find casinos in almost any city, not all casinos are created equal. The best of the best are often found in Las Vegas, where the competition for customers is fierce. Some of the top casinos have earned a reputation for their impressive size, elegant decor and mindblowing number of games. Others are noted for their unique theme. For example, The Venetian in Macau is decorated to resemble the city of Venice and features canals where gondoliers serenade visitors.