Casino is a gambling establishment featuring games of chance and some involving skill. These establishments can range in size from massive resorts to small card rooms. They may feature table games such as blackjack, roulette, and baccarat or slot machines and video poker. Casinos are located in cities throughout the world, from Las Vegas and Atlantic City to Macau and Singapore. They are also found at racetracks, where they are known as racinos.
Casinos have historically sought to maximize profits by attracting large numbers of customers. For example, in the 1970s Las Vegas casinos offered cheap travel packages and free show tickets in order to fill hotel rooms and gambling floors. In the twenty-first century casinos are choosier about their clientele and concentrate on high rollers, who spend more than average and generate much of the revenue. These gamblers are rewarded with perks such as free luxury suites and lavish personal attention.
Successful casinos bring in billions of dollars each year for the companies, investors, and Native American tribes that own them. They also generate significant tax revenues for state and local governments. However, critics point out that many compulsive gamblers end up with serious financial problems, which reduce the net economic benefits of casinos to their communities. Moreover, the money spent treating these gamblers often offsets any positive social impact casinos might have. These examples are selected automatically from various online sources, and may not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors.