A casino, also known as a gaming house or gambling house, is an establishment that offers patrons the opportunity to gamble for money or prizes. Casinos are most often found attached to hotels, resorts, cruise ships or other tourist destinations, but may also be standalone. In the United States, casinos are mostly operated by private companies or organizations. Some states allow public access to casinos, but many limit the number of slots or the types of games available, and some have no casinos at all.
While musical shows, lighted fountains and shopping centers draw visitors to casinos, the billions of dollars in profits raked in every year by casinos come from gambling. Slot machines, blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and other casino games generate most of the profits that make casino ownership an attractive proposition for investors.
Whether a casino is located in an elegant spa town like Baden-Baden or a flashy Vegas strip, its design and decor has some specific goals. Casinos want to captivate their patrons and create unique experiences, and they do this by creating an atmosphere of wealth and mystery.
This can be achieved by luxurious carpeting or richly tiled hallways, but it is most often accomplished with lighting. Casinos set the lighting to create a certain mood and use dimmer lights to create an impression of darkness. This makes it more difficult for people to see what is going on around them, and it minimizes their awareness of the passage of time.