A casino is a place where people can gamble and play games. It’s also a place where people can meet with friends and family. Casinos usually have many tables and slot machines. Some casinos are open 24 hours a day. Some casinos have restaurants, theaters and bars.
In the United States, 51 million people–about a quarter of the population over 21–visited a casino in 2002. These casinos earned a combined $25.7 billion in gambling revenue. Casinos make money by taking a small percentage of each bet. The amount may be very low, such as less than two percent, but over millions of bets, it can add up.
Casinos attract bettors with perks such as free spectacular entertainment, reduced-fare transportation, hotel rooms and buffet meals. The perks are called “comps.” Casinos try to lure big bettors with these offers because they can bring in more money per visit than smaller bettors.
Something about casinos seems to encourage patrons to cheat and steal, either in collusion or independently. For this reason, casinos spend a large amount of time and money on security measures.
In 2005, the average casino gambler was a forty-six-year-old female from a household with an above-average income. That’s a slight change from the late 1980s, when casinos targeted older women, who could afford to travel and enjoy the amenities of the casino. In the 1990s, however, casinos began to focus more on young men. This trend was encouraged by the growing popularity of televised gambling events.